'Double 11' marks 15th anniversary, stimulating consumption demand and boosting China's economic development
Ma Xiaobai, Hu Shiyun

Editor's note: Ma Xiaobai is a research fellow at the Development Research Center of China's State Council. Hu Shiyun is a PhD student of Peking University. The article reflects the authors' opinions and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

Saturday marks the 15th anniversary of China's Double 11 online shopping festival. From the first Double 11 event initiated by Alibaba on November 11 in 2009, to the largest e-commerce shopping gala in the world today, this innovative marketing model has profoundly transformed China's consumption market and injected enormous impetus into the country's economic development.

This year's Double 11 shopping festival witnessed a surge in consumer demand and enthusiasm for quality products. According to Tmall, a leading online retail platform affiliated with Alibaba, 155 brands achieved sales of over 100 million yuan ($13.72 million) as soon as the event officially started at 8 p.m. on October 31, while 71,900 brands broke the first-day sales record of last year in the first hour.

Sales volume of 29 livestreaming rooms hit 100 million yuan at the start. Another leading e-commerce platform,, also reported that the sales of its special-subsidy channel reached 100 million yuan within just four minutes after the event started at 8 p.m. Pinduoduo, a fast-growing platform which rivals and Tmall in lower-tier markets, saw a 113 percent year-on-year increase in the number of orders from users in first-tier cities, and a 167 percent year-on-year increase in fourth- and fifth-tier cities.

Chinese consumers come from different regions and backgrounds, and have diverse and personalized consumption demands. With the help of e-commerce platforms, they can now easily access a variety of products and services, from high-end appliances, smart devices, health food and imported goods, to daily necessities, local specialties and cultural products. The expansion of consumption has not only driven economic growth, but also accelerated economic transformation, and fueled the endogenous power of the economy.

The Double 11 festival is not only a carnival of consumption, but also a showcase of innovation. Through the lens of Double 11, we can witness how small and micro enterprises, domestic brands and the fusion of the digital and physical economies are empowering China's economic development.

Small and micro enterprises are the main forces of the Double 11 event. On, small and micro enterprises contribute the greatest number of merchants, new brands and new products. On Tmall, over 2 million small and micro enterprises witnessed over 100 percent year-on-year growth. These small and micro enterprises can directly reach consumers across the country and even the world through the e-commerce platforms, achieving their goals in expanding business scale, promoting specialization and product branding. 

Meanwhile, the e-commerce platforms have also provided various support for small and micro enterprises – in finance, logistics, technology, training, and so on – to help them reduce costs, improve efficiency and enhance competitiveness. On the one hand, the development of small and micro enterprises has boosted employment, on the other, it has enhanced the social innovation vitality and further optimized the economic structure.

Domestic brands are becoming the highlight of the Double 11 online shopping festival. During this year's Double 11 period, the performance of domestic brands was very eye-catching. Since the beginning of this year's Double 11 event, 243 domestic brands on the Tmall racked up a transaction volume of more than 100 million yuan, making up more than half of the "100-million-yuan-sales club." The domestic brands, including Huawei, ERKE, Pechoin, Flyco and Xiaomi, among others, have won the recognition and favor of both domestic and foreign consumers with their innovation and high-quality features and consumer reputation. The rise of domestic brands has enhanced China's international image, boosted the country's industrial development, as well as high-quality development of the national economy.

Online and offline integration has become a trend of the Double 11 festival. During this year's Double 11 festival, e-commerce platforms extended promotional activities from online to offline, injecting more vitality into physical stores. These offline stores, including various types of retail outlets, such as shopping malls, supermarkets, and convenience stores, are providing consumers with more convenient and preferential shopping experiences through online and offline interaction and integration. The integration has not only expanded consumption scenarios, but also spurred consumption demand and upgraded consumption.

Over the past 15 years, the Double 11 festival has become an important platform for unleashing consumption demand and promoting economic development in China. In the context of China's transition from investment-driven to consumption-driven growth, the Double 11 gala has showcased the growing purchasing power and diversified preferences of Chinese consumers, as well as the increasing innovation capability and competitiveness of Chinese enterprises. In the future, the Double 11 event is expected to continually play its innovative role, contributing more to China's high-quality economic development and the high-quality life of Chinese consumers.

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