The Chinese e-commerce giant said Tuesday it plans to host its second-ever countdown gala leading up to the start of the sale — when the clock strikes midnight on Nov. 10, the eve of Singles’ Day, or 11.11 as Alibaba refers to it.
The e-commerce giant, which said last year’s Singles’ Day generated more than $14.3 billion in gross merchandise volume through its Alipay payment platform, will broadcast live this year’s gala on Zhejiang Satellite TV. Alibaba will also live-stream the event via its media assets like Youku Tudou, Tmall TV Box and UC Web. Alibaba also revealed that it has snagged chemicals company Shanghai Jahwa as a sponsor.
Alibaba said it is offering consumers, companies and non-profit organizations four free one-minute advertising slots during the gala broadcast based on creative merit. The company said it wants to “encourage innovation and originality.”
Last year’s Singles’ Day festivities included an appearance from British actor Daniel Craig and a promotional video starring Kevin Spacey in character as Frank Underwood in “House of Cards,” which is an incredibly popular show in China.
Alibaba said last week that its first-quarter net profit slid 75 percent as it reported one-off gains in the same period a year earlier. Meanwhile, revenue for the quarter ending June 30 grew 59 percent, beating market expectations.
In May, it emerged that the United States Securities Exchange Commission was investigating Alibaba’s accounting practices, including how it reports results for Singles’ Day.