Alibaba News Roundup: Chinese Consumers Spend Big This Labor Day Holiday

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Alibaba News Roundup: Chinese Consumers Spend Big This Labor Day Holiday


This week, we look at the new consumption trends that have emerged from China’s five-day Labor Day holiday and how Alibaba’s digital ecosystem has sought to capture the country’s holiday buzz, both online and offline. 

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Shanghai Sees Spike in Spending During May 5 Shopping Festival 

Millions of Shanghai residents celebrated the city’s annual May 5 Shopping Festival, launched earlier this week to coincide with the Labor Day holiday. Alibaba’s entire ecosystem, from its online grocery service Tmall Supermarket to on-demand platform Ele.me, was at work to meet the surge in demand. Tmall Supermarket saw orders from Shanghai grow by 60% year-on-year, while as many as 8,424 watermelons were sold on the platform, enough to fill up 25 soccer stadiums. 

Ele.me users ordered more than 50,000 barbeque meals as well as enough bubble tea to stack up to 15 Oriental Pearl Towers – the highest building in Shanghai measured at 1,536 feet. Alibaba-backed hypermarket chain RT-Mart also rolled out sharp discounts for more than 3,000 items, while the company’s New Retail-powered grocery chain Freshippo saw approximately 10 million visits to its Shanghai stores over the holiday.

Fliggy and Cainiao Unveil New Trends in Travel

A joint report released this week by Alibaba’s travel-services platform Fliggy and logistics unit Cainiao pointed to new trends that took hold during the May holiday. Between May 1 and 5, Chinese travelers made over 230 million domestic trips. While inbound travel boomed, so did parcel deliveries, as more people opted for hassle-free travel: many shoppers leveraged Cainiao’s express-delivery services to mail out their luggage to popular travel destinations ahead of their journeys. Parcels were able to arrive as fast as the next day. This was especially popular among Gen-Z consumers and younger, who accounted for one third of the service’s users.

Holiday Delivers Boost to Rural Consumption

China’s smaller cities and villages continue to be popular holiday destinations. Fliggy bookings for inns and bed-and-breakfasts in rural and smaller cities – such as Lijiang, Dali and Guilin – increased by over 220% during this period, compared to last year. Food deliveries to these areas also grew by 60% compared to pre-holiday levels on Ele.me.

According to statistics from Alibaba, consumers in rural regions have traveled, shopped and spent even more this year as many workers returned home during the national holiday. Online purchases for Baijiu, a Chinese distilled spirit, soared on Taobao Deals the week before the holiday. Categories such as beauty, health and cosmetics also saw significant growth over the period. 


Cainiao to Accelerate Digitization in Chinas Free Trade Zone

Cainiao Smart Logistics Network announced plans to implement intelligent supply chain technologies in China’s Hainan province to meet the region’s explosive growth in consumer demand. As one of Cainiao’s core logistics hubs, the Hainan smart hub is expected to launch over 800 international cargo flights, covering key routes connecting Hainan and regions including Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. It will also set up the island’s largest smart warehouse dedicated to cross-border and duty-free goods. The designated warehouse will be equipped with over 100 AGV robots, robotic arms and automated forklifts to sort, store and ship bulk goods as well as future inbound duty-free goods – this is expected to bring about an 80% uplift in operational efficiency by helping reduce the staff’s time spent on walking and handling goods manually, said the company. 

Cainiaos Smart Warehouse In Hainan Min
Cainiao’s smart warehouse in Hainan

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