Singles’ Day Turns into Math Class as Alibaba, JD.com Argue

4 min read 

This year’s Singles’ Day is just over, but Alibaba and JD.com are already fighting about how to calculate and record who had the most transactions.

JD.com’s accumulated orders in the past 11 days exceeded 100 billion yuan. Alibaba’s Wang Shuai said that as long as JD.com is willing, JD.com can count its entire year’s worth of orders as being “made” during the Singles’ Day.

JD.com CMO Xu Lei said Alibaba pre-sells for more than 20 days and counts all its orders as a single day’s sale. He asked why it’s inappropriate for JD.com to calculate orders over the 11-day period as part of the Singles’ Day?

Calculation Controversy

Wall Street News previously reported that JD.com’s accumulated orders exceeded 100 billion yuan on the morning of November 11. That sum is about equal to the annual sales of largest offline chain supermarket.

Tmall’s Singles’ Day transaction volume reached 100 billion yuan at 9 am.

On the Qianniu Live Broadcast this morning, Wang said, “I have to admit, JD.com is good at math,” when asked about the company’s 11-day sales reaching 100 billion yuan.

He said JD.com was standing on false numbers by comparing 11 days of its sales to a single day of trading in Alibaba’s Tmall.

Alibaba is an very important rival for JD.com. More than half of the market value of JD.com is due to the capital market’s confidence and expectations about the future of Alibaba. But at the same time, Alibaba’s bad performance is more important to JD.com. JD.com talks about surpassing Alibaba every day, but the gap between the two companies is growing. How to continue to bolster confidence is a serious problem for JD.com.

Alibaba has a neutral opinion about JD.com, but JD.com may view the other company with animosity and wish for its decline. That’s why “love” is very important to Richard Liu.

According to several media reports, JD.com CMO Xu responded in WeChat moments:

I don’t understand why Ali can presell for more than 20 days and count these orders as a single day’s sales while JD.com cannot calculate sum its orders made during the 11 days of the Singles’ Day? This is not a math problem but a logic problem. You have the ability to stop businesses from selling goods for more than 20 days and we have the ability to help our stores do good business for 11 days.

Upgraded Competition

There is no question the competition between Alibaba and JD.com is becoming more intense. From overseas mergers and acquisitions and brand competition to competing to define new concepts, the two sides have been “fighting” in many areas during this year alone.

Fight for Brands

In Q1 of this year, LVMH group’s TAG Heuer, Hermès’s Shang Xia, and Armani Jeans owned by Armani entered Tmall. JD.com has brands such as GUCCI, Vivienne Westwood, Armani and Zenith in its 618 event.

Overseas Layout

In June, JD.com and Alibaba announced new plans for overseas layout. Alibaba has announced it will spend about $1 billion to increase its stake in Southeast Asia’s leading e-commerce platform Lazada, moving from 51 percent to 83 percent. JD.com has announced a $397 million purchase of Farfetch, a British fashion company, as one of its largest shareholders. Richard Liu will join Farfetch’s board as he is the chairman and CEO of JD.com.

Power in New Retail

In July, Alibaba announced the establishment of the Five New Executive Committee. Jack Ma said “Five New” will redefine many industries and industries, and will have a huge impact on all aspects of society. “Five New” will promote the construction of new supply side business and promote the Chinese consumer market.

At almost the same time, Richard Liu proposed in Caijing magazine the concept of “the fourth retail revolution.” Liu said it is the time for Internet e-commerce to surpass the Internet. This revolution will bring people into a new age of intelligent business.

Stock Price Trend Differences

In terms of share prices, the market has generally favored both Alibaba and JD.com. Alibaba shares are up by 106 percent so far this year, and JD.com is up by 54 percent, according to Nasdaq.

Notably, there has been a significant decline in JD.com’s share price in the last three months, down about 17 percent from its peak in August. Alibaba has maintained its previous trend, up by more than 19 percent since early August.

Wall Street News earlier noted that it was mainly because Alibaba was stimulated by positive earnings and other growth. JD.com has seen its share price fall due to a decline in the company’s gross margin, which was disclosed in Q2.

This article originally appeared in Wall Stree News and was translated by Pandaily.