Worldview: Why China’s E-Commerce Giants Withheld Singles’ Day Results


🇨🇳 China’s e-commerce giants withhold Singles’ Day results. For the second year in a row, e-commerce major Alibaba did not disclose gross merchandising value (GMV), a measure of sales, during the Singles Day promotional period which concluded on Nov. 11. Competitor did not provide specific numbers either. While the fashion-to-electronics retailers did report year-over-year growth and record growth respectively, their opaqueness suggests that Chinese consumption remains subdued compared to pre-pandemic levels of growth. “I think the fact that they haven’t publicly come out with any of these figures is perhaps a little bit telling,” Galvin Chia, an emerging markets strategist at NatWest bank, told Yahoo Finance. [Reuters, Bloomberg, Yahoo Finance]

🇷🇺 Kimberley Process chairman criticises G7 plans to ban Russian diamonds. The incoming head of the multilateral body set up two decades ago to eliminate the trade in conflict diamonds has said that the group of advanced economies’ plans to extend sanctions over Russia’s war in Ukraine by banning Russian diamonds would inadvertently cause “irreparable harm” to producers in countries like Botswana, the DR Congo and South Africa. The European Union is expected to adopt proposals from four plans, devised by stakeholders in Belgium, France, India and the World Diamond Council, to restrict Russian diamond imports by introducing a new system to track and trace the gems. [Financial Times]

🇧🇼 Botswana conducts due diligence on HB Antwerp for shareholding. The African nation, one of the world’s top diamond producing countries by value, is seeking reassurances before finalising a deal to acquire a 24 percent shareholding of the Belgian gem trading company. The Botswana government is concerned about an earlier aborted deal between the company and Lucara Diamond which the latter reportedly terminated over financial irregularities. A deal would see Botswana’s state-owned Okavango Diamond Company supply HB Antwerp, helping the ODC to gain a foothold in downstream supply chains. [Reuters]

🇮🇳 Fashion brands’ Diwali campaigns feature Indian celebrities. Jimmy Choo has tapped Ananya Panday as brand ambassador for the luxury footwear label’s collection and ad campaign dedicated to Diwali, the Indian festival of lights which kicked off on Nov. 12. Other brands announced partnerships in the lead-up to festivities including H&M’s casting of Bollywood star Athiya Shetty as the face of the high-street giant’s capsule collection. [Arnika Thakur for BoF, Financial Express]

🇨🇳 LVMH and Zara look to improve ‘guanxi’ at the China International Import Expo. In a bid to strengthen relationships with Chinese officials, partners and suppliers, several fashion companies joined multinationals last week at the sixth edition of the Shanghai event (and the first since China’s post-pandemic reopening). “It’s an opportunity for us to celebrate our shared history with China, while exploring new opportunities for growth and engagement,” said LVMH’s Ludovic Watine-Arnault, the representative leading the delegation. [Shanghai Daily]

🇮🇳 India’s Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd reports Q2 loss of 200 crore rupees. The conglomerate, whose holdings include several Indian designer brands, multi-brand luxury retail chain The Collective and joint ventures with international brands such as department Galeries Lafayette, indicated that the recent results amounting to a consolidated net loss of approximately $24 million were “not comparable with previous quarters pursuant to the acquisition of subsidiary TCNS Clothing Co. Ltd,” during the period. [Economic Times]

🇲🇾 Balenciaga taps Oscar-winning Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh as ambassador. The French luxury brand has cast the Hollywood A-lister, who started her career in Hong Kong in the 1990s before moving the US and starring in major blockbusters, for its spring 2024 campaign. [BoF Inbox, Lifestyle Asia]

🇮🇳 Indian fashion tech startup secures $1.5 million investment. The augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions provider, a company serving clients in the accessories, beauty and jewellery industries, has secured the investment worth 13 crore rupees ($1.5 million) in a round led by US-based Diaspark Inc with participation from India Angel Network and prominent investors including the co-founders of Sugar Cosmetics. [Retail Jeweller India]

🇨🇳 Boucheron taps Chinese actor Xiao Zhan as brand ambassador. The French jeweller has hired the former member of the Chinese boy brand X Nine who transitioned to acting a few years ago and is a face for Gucci, Tod’s, and Li Ning among other brands. [L’Officiel Singapore]

🇮🇳 India’s Arvind Fashions reports 18.9% rise in Q2 profit. The company, which has a portfolio of owned and licensed international brands including Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, said consolidated net profit rose to 216.6 million rupees ($2.60 million) during the period. Earlier this month it sold its Sephora India business to Reliance Retail. [Economic Times]

🇨🇳 Versace names Chinese actress Rosy Zhao as global brand ambassador. The Italian luxury brand’s artistic director and vice president Donatella Versace said in a statement about the TV drama star (also known as Zhao Lusi): “I love her style, her energy and her spirit. She is a powerful Versace woman.” [BoF Inbox]

🇮🇳 Tata-owned Trent’s Q2 profit surges three fold in India. The company’s consolidated net profit rose to 2.35 billion rupees ($28.23 million) in the quarter, buoyed in part by Westside, its chain of department stores, and value fashion brand Zudio. [Reuters]

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