USD 74 billion risk for Alibaba
Alibaba’s rough year gets a little rougher ahead of Singles’ Day.
We’re less than a month away from November 11, when lots of shopping happens in China. Sales happen on nearly every online marketplace, but Alibaba’s bonanza normally gets the spotlight, purely because of its production values.
The shopping festival usually comes with a gala or variety show. Previous guests include Pharrell (who shared the stage with disgraced rapper-idol and alleged rapist Kris Wu), Kobe Bryant, Nicole Kidman, Taylor Swift, and a very awkward Daniel Craig.
But Alibaba has been bruised over and over again in the past year. After forking over a record-setting USD 2.8 billion fine for antitrust violations, rape allegations against one manager rekindled public discussions about the company’s misogynistic culture and sexually charged icebreaker games for new hires.
Now, livestreamers who whip up sales for Alibaba’s marketplaces are about to come under stricter regulatory scrutiny than ever before. The exact details are unclear, but this development will surely reshape how things are bought and sold through this medium, which Alibaba credits for bumping up its total sales during last year’s Singles’ Day to USD 74 billion.