Alibaba has said 100 million people 'took part' in its 9.9 online wine shopping festival in China, but the company said it wouldn't release sales figures from the campaign.

Alibaba‘s 9/9 wine shopping festival began on 1 September and culminated on Friday 9 September on the group’s Tmall website.

Some analysts in China speculated that the inaugural wine shopping festival failed to meet expectations, because Alibaba has not released any sales figures so far.

‘We do not have any sales figures to share for 9.9 Wine & Spirits Festival,’ a spokesperson told DecanterChina on Monday 12 September.

‘The event was focused on promoting wine and spirits culture to Chinese consumers and educating younger generation who are interested into the wine category. ‘

Alibaba released its sales figures in less than 24 hours after last year’s record-breaking ‘singles day’ shopping festival in China, held every 11 November.

‘We want to focus on building solid infrastructures and empowering the digital transformation of industries like wine and spirits to support businesses and to also allow consumers to directly engage with brands and wine experts to bring awareness with the popularity of imported wine into China,’ said the Alibaba spokesperson.

But, Alibaba said the 9.9 festival achieved the 100 million participants that it set out to attract.

Nearly half of those people had never bought wines or spirits on Tmall before, it added.

And on the day of the festival’s climax, 9 September or 9.9, sales between 9am and 10am were 10-fold higher than on the same day of last year.

Early feedback from trade sources in China suggests that famous wines sold well during the festival, which is the brainchild of Alibaba’s billionaire founder Jack Ma.

Lesser known brands found it harder to win over consumers, according to initial trade analysis.

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