In 5 minutes of online sale, Alibaba rakes in $3 billion

Ann Santiago
November 12, 2018

Alibaba's new retail is in the vein of Amazon's ($AMZN) AmazonGo cashier-less markets ー but on steroids.

The world's biggest 24-hour shopping event, celebrating its tenth year, kicked off early Sunday and once again shattered its own sales mark as Chinese online buyers seized on promotions to snap up everything from electronics to clothing and housewares. The retail celebration on November 11 dedicated to the nation's unattached has become an important bellwether not just for the company, but also the world's No. 2 economy.

While both Alibaba and competitor JD.com have pledged to use biodegradable packaging to cut down on waste, research conducted this month by Greenpeace East Asia said many plastics marked "biodegradable" and used by Chinese e-retailers can only break down under high temperatures in facilities that are limited in number across the country.

A screen shows the gross merchandise volume, a measure of sales, after two seconds of Singles' Day sales. "11/11 is not an event that relies exclusively on any one market", Evans told Bloomberg TV in an interview Friday. "Now we can achieve it in one hour", Reuters reported.

"This year we are going to engage the entire Alibaba economy".

Alibaba has seen softer demand for big-ticket items, such as washing machines, televisions and automobiles, Evans said.

"If people aren't buying new homes, they aren't buying appliances", he said.


Alibaba's chief executive Daniel Zhang said Singles Day showed how strong Chinese consumer power was. He's taking over after Ma steps down as executive chairman next year. This year, the shopping festival is focusing on Alibaba's New Retail strategy -the convergence of online and offline retail through technology. Now that this year's one-day bazaar will be Ma's last as chairman, Zhang will need to prove he can carry on the legacy. Consumers spent a total of 168.5 billion yuan ($24.3 billion) by the afternoon, the report said.

Below we have answered all your queries related to the Alibaba's Singles' Day sale. "China's GDP per capita was about US$800 per person back in 1999 when I joined the company, and has risen to about US$9,000 per person today, an average across 1.3 billion people". According to Adobe Analytics, this was an 18 percent increase over the previous year. Policy makers have made a slew of changes, including reductions in income tax and tariffs on goods.

While sales growth remains steady, Alibaba's stock has dropped 16 percent this year amid economic uncertainties rising out of trade tensions between China and the United States.

Ren Xiaotong, a 27-year-old accountant in Beijing, said she suspected online stores jacked up their prices in the lead-up to Singles Day so they could declare that items were discounted. Worldwide expansion will be a key part of Zhang's plan to keep breaking sales records.

Last year, the Chinese company expanded the event to the Western market, with downloads of its app AliExpress surging in the USA and UK. Popular items purchased overseas included mobile phones, wool coats and knitted sweaters.

At the same time, Alibaba's efforts to push into the USA are sputtering. By 2019, we expect there will be 85.5 million smart speaker users in the country.

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