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Beijing — While Chinese online shopping giant Alibaba racked up $18bn in sales on one day in November, the broader retail picture is not as rosy when it includes brick-and-mortar shops. Foot traffic to malls and restaurants declined in November amid a surge in online shopping, according to data from Baidu, the operator of the nation’s dominant search engine, and JD.com, the second-largest e-commerce platform. Consumer confidence and box office receipts fell, while car sales got a lift from tax breaks. China’s increasingly wealthy consumers are developing more sophisticated tastes for pricier Japanese nappies, Brazilian nuts and German kitchenware, usually via online platforms such as Alibaba’s shopping colossus, Taobao.com or JD’s Amazon-like site. Beyond that frenzy, official data due for release on Tuesday may show offline conditions were more subdued. Retail sales probably rose to a 10.2% year-on-year pace in November, according to a Bloomberg survey of economists. October’s 10% ...

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