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[SHANGHAI] Most online consumers in China will spend more during the Nov. 11 "Singles' Day" shopping promotion this year than they did last year, according to the results of a survey by consultancy Nielsen Holdings made available to Reuters on Wednesday.
In a survey of more than 1,000 internet users in China this month, 56 per cent said that they would spend more on Singles Day this year compared to 2014. A third said they were likely to spend about the same on the biggest single day for shopping in China, and 6 per cent planned to spend less, Nielsen said.
The survey, conducted from Oct 16 to 21, found the average expected spend amongst all respondents in 2015 was 1,761 yuan (S$387.51), Nielsen said, showing an increase of 321 yuan, or 22 per cent, compared with 2014.
This year's trend on a day also dubbed "Double 11" after its date will be watched closely for clues about private consumption as the world's second-biggest economy heads for its slowest growth in more than 20 years. Official data shows retail sales grew more than 10 per cent in September from a year earlier, but other indicators, such as auto sales, have shown big drops.
"It's not a huge surprise that consumers are planning to spend more during this year's Double 11," Yan Xuan, president of Nielsen Greater China, said in a statement. "Income levels and internet penetration continue to rise throughout China, so this is a natural progression." The online sales event has ballooned since it was launched by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd in 2009, and many retailers, including Alibaba rivals like JD.com Inc, stage sales promotions of their own.
Last year, Alibaba reported a record US$9.3 billion in sales on its platforms during the event.
The thousands of vendors featured on Alibaba's Singles' Day shopping sites hope to boost sales and gain customers. But some retailers have said that hefty discounting can undercut the benefits of increased transactions, and watchdogs monitor the event for potential infractions.
Alibaba was fined 800,000 yuan in April by the price bureau in eastern Zhejiang province for violations by third-party sellers during promotions on its e-commerce platforms, including Singles Day.