"Having backup plans, even domestically, has been quite important. Because you don't know at any moment factories could be closed because of COVID policies and labour not being able to move in and out," said James Yang, partner at consultancy Bain & Co.


The Chinese e-commerce launched 11.11 preparations in August and had 95% of its China-bound supplies across two local warehouses by mid-October. Each situated in a different province, the two sites could support each other in case of emergencies.


“There are lots of uncertainties. Consumers may stock up on more baby formulas if a lockdown prevails in their city. Two warehouses provide some assurance. If one gets closed, the other can be a backup."


Likewise, Cainiao prepared four million square meters of extra warehousing space in 20 Chinese cities.