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Alibaba Wants Its $18 Billion Singles’ Day to Be More, Mean Less

  • Company has been downplaying gross merchandise volume metric
  • Chairman Jack Ma sees business as much more than e-commerce
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Alibaba's Evans: Very Unlikely We'll Keep Growing at 60%

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. reported a whopping $17.8 billion of sales during its online shopping bonanza Singles’ Day. But it doesn’t want you to focus on that number.

That’s because billionaire Chairman Jack Ma thinks pure e-commerce businesses are going to face tremendous challenges in the future, as online shopping becomes the new normal. While sales on Singles’ Day grew 60 percent to 91.2 billion yuan in 2015, the increase this year was about half that rate, leading some analysts to call the event a slight disappointment.