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Online Singles' Day sales smash records in China

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by November 11, 2016 General

Press Trust of India  |  Beijing 

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Alibaba Group, the e-commerce giant behind the 24-hour Singles’ Day shopping blitz, has smashed last year’s record breaking sales total of USD 14.3 billion six hours ahead of the closure.

Total spending on Alibaba platforms, which include Tmall, Taobao and AliExpress, is now well on the way to topping retail industry analysts’ target for this year of USD 18.5 billion, which would be a 29 per cent rise on last year, based South Morning Post reported.

Launched in 2009, the day-long event held annually on November 11 is now considered a benchmark for China’s ongoing swing towards online shopping, especially via smartphones.

Transaction volumes on mobile devices had already surpassed last year’s number within the first 11 hours into the debut of the event, according to Tmall’s Sina Weibo account.

This year’s selling surge kicked off at midnight in Shenzhen, with a star-studded launch gala event, featuring a host of celebrities, including English football legend David Beckham, basketball star Kobe Bryant, actress Scarlett Johansson, and pop-rock band One Republic besides Alibaba founder Jack Ma himself to drum up international attention.

The first 10 billion yuan (USD 1.47 billion) was achieved in just six minutes 58 seconds on Alibaba, almost six minutes faster than last year.

Just before 3:20 p.M. (local time), the number had surpassed 91.2 billion yuan, the whole-day sales volume for last year.

Other online platforms such as JD.Com, Gome, and Suning.Com all exceeded previous records in the first few hours, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Seen by many as China’s answer to Black Friday in the US, Singles’ Day has grown into a huge battle for market share among Chinese e-commerce companies.

While overseas consumers are getting more skilled at digging for bargains on Chinese websites, domestic shoppers enjoy a wider variety of foreign produce thanks to the publicity of Singles’ Day in overseas media, the report said.

This year, JD has worked with global supermarket chain Walmart to offer Chinese buyers quality overseas products.

It has also inked partnership with Japanese logistics firm Yamato to speed up cross-border delivery.

At this year’s G20 meeting, Alibaba forged collaboration with Canadian and Russian companies to expand its presence overseas.

It also invested in Singapore Post to target consumers in Southeast Asia.

With easier access to overseas products, it is estimated that China’s e-commerce market still has room to grow.

According to Internet industry research agency iResearch, China’s online shopping market’s sales volume was 1.1 trillion yuan in the second quarter, up 27.6 per cent year on year.

It is estimated the volume will exceed 1.5 trillion in the fourth quarter.

“E-commerce is leading the change in the global market,” said Wang Jian, professor at the University of International Business and Economics.

“The flow of global commodities through online purchases can help awaken the consumer market, which is good for the global retail industry,” Wang said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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