Alibaba-owned Taobao has offered refunds via Alipay to customers after a cargo ship carrying Taobao’s goods from the 11.11 sales crashed and sunk in the ocean last Thursday.
According to multiple media reports, the cargo ship had approximately 879 tons of items shipping out of China and collided with another ship along the way. Malaysian Chinese-language newspaper China Press reported that this was the first time Taobao had a mishap with its delivery. In the article, Taobao confirmed the shipwreck and said that the items were either damaged or fell into the sea. Marketing has reached out to Taobao for additional information.
Singles’ Day is one of the most awaited sales festival among shoppers. Last year, Alibaba’s gross merchandise volume hit US$30.8 billion, exceeding the online revenues of Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This year, Alibaba announced that it hit a gross merchandise value of about US$12.0 billion settled through Alipay within the first hour of its Singles’ Day global shopping festival.
The top 10 countries which sold to China by GMV within the first hour are Japan, the US, South Korea, Australia, Germany, UK, France, Italy, Canada, and New Zealand. In the hours leading up to the shopping event, Alibaba hosted its fifth annual countdown gala featuring US American singer Taylor Swift, along with other international and local celebrities including G.E.M., Li Ronghao, Jackson Yee, Zhang Yixing, and Kana Hanazawa.
Meanwhile, Alibaba Group recently announced that it will be opening a Taobao store at MyTOWN Shopping Centre in Kuala Lumpur. This comes in partnership with MyTOWN and retailer Lumahgo New Retail. The new outlet will be named Taobao Store by Lumahgo and comes shortly after Taobao launched its first concept store in Southeast Asia at Singapore’s Funan mall.