Hey. It’s Brady.
Normally, for the 800 million shoppers who buy things on Singles’ Day, the bonanza is defined by discounts. Naturally, overall consumer activity is then expressed in very large numbers—sales volume, transactions per second, and the like. Each year, records are broken, hardware is upgraded to handle surges in traffic, and then we wait a year for it to happen all over again.
But 2021 is not business as usual. Major tech companies are treading carefully, eager to stay on message. When one of the key signals from the state is “common prosperity,” maybe playing up sales numbers is a little tone-deaf.
That’s why Alibaba and JD.com both highlighted the ways each company is socially responsible. Recycling for shipping packaging? Great stuff. Vouchers for eco-friendly products? Sure, yes. Inclusiveness? Of course! (What exactly “inclusion” means in this context, however, isn’t entirely clear.)
But you’d be right to wonder whether there is just a little bit of mixed messaging in all of this. Isn’t limiting purchases a big part of living sustainably?
Mengyuan wrote about the shift in tone by tech companies during this year’s Singles’ Day. You can read her article here.
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