Singles' Day Surpasses $25B In Sales

Oscar Cross
November 12, 2017

In 2009, retailer Alibaba turned the day into the country's version of Black Friday - and eight years later, sales from the Chinese e-commerce event has more than doubled those from Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States combined. Singles' Day, then, appears to be celebrating a marriage after all-one of cyberspace and reality.

Sales from last year's Singles Day grossed $17.8 billion.

Alibaba's Singles' Day records have been smashed yet again with a massive $25.3 billion of merchandise being sold today.

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. Just five minutes after midnight, Alipay, Alibaba's online payment system, was already processing 256,000 transactions per second, double the highest rate recorded previous year.

Shoppers around China and some 200 countries and regions scooped up discounted lobster, iPhones and refrigerators at a rate of as many as 256,000 transactions per second.

This year, Nicole Kidman and Pharrell Williams were among the guests. 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.

E-commerce's huge growth in China has put New York-listed Alibaba neck-and-neck with Inc as the world's most valuable e-commerce company, while also making NASDAQ-listed a Fortune 500 company. It takes its name from the way Nov 11 is written numerically as 11/11, which resembles "bare branches", a Chinese expression for the unattached.

The two largest economies of the world have already witnesses robust e-commerce growth over the past decade, and Alibaba's success on Singles Day highlights the very long growth runway that the industry still enjoys.

Alibaba managed to expand Singles Day from a local Chinese sales event to a global sales day.

This year, the company will spread its sales to physical buildings, with 10% of China's convenience stores participating. "I have often emptied my "shopping cart" on Singles Day", Zheng said. "We will see tens of billions of dollars injected overseas (by Alibaba)", said Li Chengdong, a Beijing-based independent e-commerce analyst.

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