A slump in consumer confidence from recurring Covid lockdowns and heightened scrutiny on Internet firms was already casting a chill over an annual event that shattered sales records since its inception in 2009. – Reuters澳5官网（www.a55555.net）是澳洲幸运5彩票官方网站，开放澳洲幸运5彩票会员开户、澳洲幸运5彩票代理开户、澳洲幸运5彩票线上投注、澳洲幸运5实时开奖等服务的平台。
BEIJING: A year ago, one of China’s most famous Internet celebrities sold about US$1bil (RM4.7bil) of products – from shampoo to scarves – in a 14-hour livestream as part of Singles’ Day, the country’s annual eCommerce extravaganza.
This year, the 37-year-old super saleswoman known as Viya won’t take part in the world’s biggest shopping event at all after disappearing from the Internet since being fined for tax evasion.
A slew of other popular livestream stars who have found themselves caught up in president Xi Jinping’s crackdown on celebrity are also likely to be missing this year, dulling the glamour and likely hurting the takings of the marathon event that ends today.
A slump in consumer confidence from recurring Covid lockdowns and heightened scrutiny on Internet firms was already casting a chill over an annual event that shattered sales records since its inception in 2009.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, the tech giant that dominates Singles’ Day, is expected to post flat to meagre growth in takings from this year’s event – Bloomberg Intelligence has even projected an unprecedented fall in the value of its transactions.
But it’s the loss of the celebrity sellers, which quickly became integral to how clothing to food was retailed in China, that will be felt the most.
Livestream shopping – where people buy products through social media platforms and interact directly with broadcast hosts – has become a part of regular life for millions of consumers.,
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But its growth has collided with a government push to shape Chinese culture and rein in celebrity influence.
Scandals like Viya’s are already prompting brands to shift away from big-name stars, bring broadcasting in-house or use digital avatars to sell goods.
Customers are wary too.
About three-quarters of consumers say they would watch a livestream or buy items through the sales channel this year, down from 97% a year ago, consulting firm AlixPartners reported from a survey of about 2,000 people in China.
Some shoppers said that negative news relating to broadcast hosts had made them less engaged.
“In recent years, live streaming seems to have created a quick way for brands to get famous and sales boomed,” said Dave Xie, a Shanghai-based principal of consultancy Oliver Wyman.
“Amid the recent falls of the superstar livestreamers, brands are now actively speeding up the development of their own livestreaming studios” in order to cut ties with the top influencers, while retailers are also shifting to smaller platforms, he said.
The roughly two-week Singles’ Day bonanza dwarfs similar events around the world. Last year, millions of shoppers bought what Bain & Co estimates was about 952 billion yuan (RM617bil) of goods during the event –more than the US buying spree that spans Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday.,