Tmall kicks off 9.9 global wine & spirits festival

Alibaba Group will host its first edition of "9.9 global wine & spirits festival"(9.9天貓全球酒水節) next week, bringing 100,000 international wines, cognacs, whiskeys and other drinks from 50 countries to Chinese consumers through its b2c marketplace

Brands such as Robert Mondavi Winery and Gallo Family Vineyards of the U.S., France’s Lafite and Japan’s Suntory Yamazaki will join winemakers from Italy, Spain, Australia and New Zealand in the first of what’s expected to be annual shopping event on Tmall. Hundreds of brands also will make their China debut during the festival, Alibaba said.

9.9, pronounced “jiu jiu” in Chinese, which are homonyms for both ‘wine’ and the number ‘nine’.

The move is evidence to the company’s intention to duplicate its success on the 11.11 ‘Single’s Day’ online shopping festival to a segment market.

"True to our mission, to make it easy to do business anywhere, Alibaba has built a solid infrastructure for businesses to grow and evolve in the new digital landscape. We are proud to empower the digital transformation of entire industries such as wine and spirits," said Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Group.

Starting 1 September, Tmall will begin marketing campaigns to generate buzz around the festival, including live auctions of rare and limited labels.

The campaign will have an offline component as well, with about 5,000 bars and pubs in China offering free tastings and distribution services for consumers in the country.