China's Mobile Advertisers Spend Big on Single's Day

Smaato, the leading global real-time advertising platform for mobile publishers and app developers, today unveiled its analysis of mobile ad spending in APAC leading up to Singles’ Day, the world’s largest shopping holiday.

Smaato analysed data from billions of mobile ad impressions served on its exchange in the month leading up to Singles’ Day. As Chinese consumers were spending big — Alibaba set a new record with more than US$30.8 billion in sales made in 24 hours — Chinese advertisers were doing the same.

In fact, according to data from the Smaato platform, China saw mobile ad spending rise significantly in the lead-up to Singles’ Day. This market scored the highest on Smaato’s mobile ad spending index, which compares average daily mobile advertising expenditure from Singles’ Day and the days prior (November 9-11) to the previous 30day period. This means that in China, mobile ad spending from November 9 to 11 was 48% higher than the period average, and in Thailand, it was 27% higher than average.

Singles’ Day Mobile Ad Spending Index

Country Score
China 148
Thailand 127
Singapore 126
Indonesia 121
South Korea 118
Malaysia 115
Japan 98
Hong Kong 88


“This is a testament to the increasingly globalized nature of commerce,” said Alex Khan, Smaato’s Managing Director APAC, “Countries such as Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, and South Korea saw major spikes in mobile ad spending leading up to Singles’ Day along with China, the birthplace of the shopping festival. This indicates that Singles’ Day is catching on in several markets in the region.”

He added that “across the rest of APAC, the ‘Singles’ Day Effect’ was less pronounced with Malaysia seeing just a slight uptick whilst Hong Kong and Japan saw dips in mobile ad spending during the period.”

In Japan, Halloween was the big winner for mobile publishers, with daily ad spending in this country nearly 30% higher during the period leading up to the spooky holiday as opposed to Singles’ Day — which saw a slight decline in expenditure. Meanwhile, advertisers in Hong Kong may be eschewing Singles’ Day due to the increased competition from advertisers in China during that period.

In China itself, mobile advertising spend rocketed in the lead up to Singles’ Day. With expenditure on the day itself rising by more than 50% above average. This may be due to e-commerce players viewing Singles’ Day as an opportunity to increase sales despite the general dominance of Alibaba during the shopping holiday.

Khan said, “The rise in mobile advertising during the Singles’ Day period in China shows that China’s marketers are wise to the opportunity to get face time with consumers via mobile. Mobile ad requests shot up by almost 25% as Chinese consumers compiled their wish lists and prepared for the sales. It is likely that we will see a similar trend come 12.12, the next major shopping holiday in China.”

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