Alibaba Singles Day sales missed expectations

Alibaba founder Jack Ma attends the 5th World Zhejiang Entrepreneurs Convention at Hangzhou International Expo Centre on November 13, 2019 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province of China.

VCG | Visual China Group | Getty Images

Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma said the company’s Singles Day performance missed expectations and blamed the hot weather and the fact the huge shopping event fell on a weekday.

The Chinese e-commerce giant, racked up gross merchandise value (GMV) of 268.4 billion yuan or over $38.3 billion, setting a new record. The GMV to measures sales across its shopping platforms.

Singles Day, which is also known as “Double 11” because it falls on November 11, is a huge 24-hour shopping event in which thousands of products receive heavy discounts.

While Singles Day GMV was above market forecasts, they didn’t beat what Ma had expected.

“What I want to tell you is that the sales of Singles Day this year hasn’t even reached my expectation,” Ma said at the 5th World Zhejiang Entrepreneurs Convention on Wednesday, according to a CNBC translation.

“There are multiple reasons, one of them is that the weather is too hot. Clothes sell better when it’s cold. Another reason is that it’s a Monday,” Ma added, in a video circulating on Chinese social media.

The Alibaba co-founder said he hoped the government would give people a half day off of work for future Singles Day events.

Alibaba was not immediately available for comment.

Ma’s comments come as Alibaba readies itself for a secondary listing in Hong Kong in which it could raise $13 billion, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told CNBC.

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