It is no longer a surprise that a new sales record would be set during this (and every) year’s 11.11 – used to be called Singles’ Day – shopping festival. In addition to Alibaba and its ecosystem, other ecommerce platforms in China are also joining.

Pinduoduo even bribed many famous tech influencers to launch a simultaneous campaign denouncing the complexity of Alibaba’s scheme and lauding the simplicity of that of Pinduoduo.

The final number should be released in the next minutes – however, here we do not care about the exact numbers of sales. Not that we have grown immune to it, but there are deeper effects of this shopping festival that any of Alibaba’s global competitors or pretenders should pay attention to:

  1. The festival gives the whole team (yes the tens of thousands of Alibaba employees) a chance to coordinate a major campaign – a key test on the team’s coordination, synergy, and also resilience;
  2. The system is tested to its limits – soon after midnight the system recorded a peak of 550k transactions a second. This year allegedly all the transactions happen on AliCloud – a big test that it manages to pass. This would be quite scary to some of Alicloud’s competitors in China;
  3. Same for the logistics – all the parcels that need to be shipped quickly after the bonanza would be a major test for Cainiao and its partners;
  4. Putting the above together, it gives Alibaba a strong boost in its evolution path. Each year it goes through this test to propel itself to new heights – in leaps and bounds.

Would Pinduoduo be as fast and effective?

Maybe – it has already surpassed in market cap, and its founder, Huang Zheng, is already among the top 10 in China’s rich list.

So maybe its team can sustain a meteoric rise.

Thanks for reading The Low Down (TLD), the blog by the team at Momentum Works. Got a different perspective or have a burning opinion to share? Let us know at [email protected].