China’s market regulator bans unfair practices during Double 11 sales
Published: Nov 07, 2021 07:38 PM
Double 11 Photo: VCG

Double 11 Photo: VCG

China's top market regulator on Saturday issued a notice banning e-commerce platforms from unfair practices such as "raising prices of items before putting them on sale" during the ongoing Double 11 shopping festival, in a bid to promote transparency in order to better protect consumers.

Unfair competition is strictly prohibited, said the notice from the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR). "[Platforms] are banned from sales promotion by exclusion, restricting competition, interfering with or destroying online products or services provided by other operators legally," it said.

The SAMR also encouraged rational consumption during the online shopping spree and encouraged consumers to file complaints if their rights and interests were damaged.

Earlier, China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology told e-commerce platforms to curb marketing spam during the online shopping spree. 

"As China's stronger antitrust regulations gain popular support, it is expected that many online giants will tone down their gross merchandise value (GMV) in the Double 11 festival this year. Instead, they have switched to promotions about technology, the quality of development, tangible benefits to consumers and industrial upgrading," Liu Dingding, a Beijing-based independent tech analyst, told the Global Times on Sunday. 

The Double 11 online shopping festival, or Singles Day shopping event, originated in China in 2009, and it has become the biggest shopping event in the world, surpassing Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined in the US. 

Last year, Alibaba's Tmall reported its Double 11 GMV at around $74.1 billion. Another e-commerce giant,, recorded 271.5 billion yuan ($42.43 billion) in sales. 

Amid a sluggish consumption recovery, promotions began earlier this year from October 20, and were no longer restricted to a 24-hour buying peak. 

In a 3,000-person survey carried out by Bain & Co, 52 percent of the respondents said they were planning to spend more than last year, when the average spending per customer was 2,104 yuan, while only 8 percent said they were planning to decrease their spending.

According to Liu, an emphasis on helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is prevailing among online firms this year as China has pledged to promote "common prosperity." 

"In the past, we often say that internet giants grabbed the market share of SMEs and small brands, leaving no margin for small business' survival. But this year, both Alibaba and vowed to support smaller businesses, part of their efforts to realize common prosperity," Liu said.