Alibaba smashes Singles' Day records with 39% sales lift

Posted November 12, 2017

Chinese consumers are spending billions of dollars shopping online for anything from diapers to diamonds on "Singles Day", a day of promotions that has grown into the world's biggest e-commerce event. That means total sales for the day could well be double that or more. That is less than one fourth of Alibaba's single day sale.

Joe Tsai, co-founder and vice-chairman of Alibaba Group, told 700 reporters from all over the world in Shanghai that a total of 140,000 brands are taking part this year, up 40 per cent from last year. Additionally, the retailer hit a record $18 billion in just 13 hours, eclipsing last year's record of $17.8 billion in 24 hours.

The holiday was once a celebration for China's lonely hearts and unattached singles, known as "bare sticks".

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The yearly display of rising Chinese consumer spending power has become a key date for manufacturers and retailers in the country, accounting for a significant share of annual orders for many businesses. It is expected that an estimated 1.5 billion parcels related to the event will be shipped over the next six days to millions of people across more than 600 cities.

Mobile transactions account for 93 per cent of transactions so far this year, a further lift from the whole-day average of 85 per cent in 2016. Alibaba's processors were handling nearly 260,000 transactions per second, according to Bloomberg. Zhang Jingjing, a 30-year-old clerk for an engineering company, prepared for Singles Day by building a shopping list on Alibaba's retail platform Tmall and watching for when prices dip.

Alibaba is investing heavily in creating an entire user ecosystem encompassing cloud computing, artificial intelligence, automated stores using face-recognition, and is pushing into overseas markets under much-travelled boss Jack Ma, one of China's richest men.

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In any case, Alibaba.com has risen to become the largest e-commerce platforms in the world.

Alibaba ( BABA ) racked up another huge take from its "11.11 Global Shopping Festival", but JD.com ( JD ) also enjoyed a sales windfall. Last year, there were 98,000.

Besides, the Chinese e-commerce giant has now revealed that about $12 billion worth goods have been sold within two hours of the launch of its 11.11 Global Shopping Festival.

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