Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba expects livestreaming sales to continue strong growth, while livestreaming could make up 30% of all sales on its platforms in two to three years, said Yu Feng, general manager of e-commerce content on Alibaba’s Taobao platform, in a press conference held at Alibaba’s headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province on Wednesday.
The penetration rate of livestreaming e-commerce in China was 4.1% in 2019 and is expected to reach 8.6% by the end of this year and 14.3% by 2021, according to a report released by accounting firm KPMG and Alibaba on October 12.
In 2019, the total transaction value of livestreaming e-commerce hit RMB 433.8 billion (USD 655.3 million) and could reach up to RMB 1.05 trillion (USD 158 billion) this year, the report added.
“Taobao Live will be the first platform among others to generate RMB 1 trillion (USD 151.2 billion) in sales,” Yu told KrASIA during the press conference.
While Yu’s forecast is ambitious, the platform’s prominence has been evident during this year’s Singles’ Day.
The number of transactions conducted on Taobao Live in just the opening 10 minutes of this year’s presales on October 20 exceeded that of last year’s entire event, according to data from Alibaba.
In addition, general merchandise volume (GMV) generated by Taobao Live, Alibaba’s livestreaming platform which was launched in 2016, exceeded RMB 350 billion for the twelve months ended September 30, 2020.
“This is still the very early stage of livestreaming e-commerce and all players in the sector are actually in the upward trend,” Yu said, downplaying competition from rivals such as short-video and livestreaming company Kuaishou.
Kuaishou revealed in its initial public offering prospectus that e-commerce GMV on its platform reached RMB 109.6 billion (USD 16.6 billion) in the first half of this year.