Competition between China's retailers is always fierce on Double 11, but there are accusations between some of the the biggest online retailers that they were not playing fair.
Most notably, retail giants JD.com and Alibaba have pointed at each other alleging "questionable" calculations of headline sales numbers.
JD.com's data shows that its total sales exceeded 100 billion yuan (about 15 billion US dollars) from Nov 1 until just before 8 a.m. on Nov 11. But Wang Shuai, Senior Vice President of China Corporate Communications and Marketing at Alibaba Group questioned the calculation, indicating they should not take into account earlier sales ahead of Nov 11.
In response, one of JD.com's high-level executives, Xu Lei, fought back, saying, "Alibaba's calculation took into account of pre-sales 20 days ahead, why cannot we just include the 11 days ahead pre-sales?"
Besides this year's pre-sale marketing battle, major e-commerce giants have come up with new promotional tricks, such as coupons and new retail concepts. Instead of direct discounts, users can get all kinds of coupons through coupon sharing, lotteries and independent coupons from various retailers.
All contenders are now calling for new retail concepts to remain competitive. According to Alibaba, its version of new retail will integrate e-commerce, physical stores and logistics. Meanwhile, JD.com, under its "smart retail" concept, plans to open 200 more offline stores – mainly offering consumer electronics products by the end of this year, using bid data, AI, robots, drones and other new technologies.