China's Singles Day lacks sales oomph

STORY: China's shopping extravaganza Singles Day did not match up to its usual high sales count Friday (November 11).

One research firm said Alibaba and other Chinese e-commerce companies saw a 4.7% fall in sales for the first 12 hours of the final day.

The number was in line with lower expectations for this year's event.

Analysts saw consumer sentiment at a low point due to health crisis curbs and a slowing economy.

Singles Day is normally one of the high points of the year for China's e-commerce giants.

It is the world's biggest online shopping festival, and has become a multi-week event.

Alibaba usually has a major celebrity to perform at its gala show, but this year that was not the case.

It is part of an effort to play down hype around the event as President Xi Jinping pushes his idea of 'common prosperity'.

That aims to clamp down on what the Communist Party sees as so-called 'excessive behaviours'.

Analysts expect this will be the weakest ever year for growth in gross merchandise value over Singles Day.

Citi analysts forecast Alibaba's GMV to reach up to $77 billion this year - or a rise of up to 3.6%

That's compared to a much larger 26% jump two years ago.

Alibaba did not respond to requests for comment on their overall GMV outlook.

They are expected to give final numbers after midnight Friday.