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American brands aren't getting any love in China's mega shopping festival

More than three-quarters of Chinese consumers surveyed said they'll reconsider buying from American companies during the Singles' Day shopping event on Nov. 1

Bloomberg News 

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US brands may see a broad boycott at the world’s biggest event this year as tensions between the US and China over everything from tariffs to technological dominance simmer.

More than three-quarters of Chinese consumers surveyed said they’ll reconsider buying from American companies during the Singles’ Day event on Nov. 11, according to a report released last week by consulting firm AlixPartners LLC. Of those, more than half cited allegiance to their nation as the reason for doing so.

“US brands can expect some disruption because of the consequences of the US-China trade war on consumer sentiment,” the report said.

Chinese consumers are spurring a wave of nationalistic spending as they become more sensitive to any perceived slight on their culture or sovereignty amid a multi-year trade conflict between the US and China. As Western firms increasingly look to China for future growth given the size of the market, shoppers have held them up to scrutiny, calling out companies from Coach to Calvin Klein for running afoul of Beijing’s political sensitivities.

Launched a decade ago by e-commerce behemoth Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. as a celebration by consumers for being single -- a play off Valentine’s Day -- the Nov. 11 event has become bigger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. Last year, there was more than $30 billion in sales over 24 hours.

First Published: Mon, November 04 2019. 12:02 IST
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