China's Singles Day breaks ecommerce records

12/11/2015

China’s online shopping holiday 'Singles’ Day' has broken all previous records, lead by ecommrce giant Alibaba, with a shopping total was bigger than Facebook's entire revenue last year.

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Chinese shoppers bought $14.3 billion of merchandise through e-commerce giant Alibaba alone, and that figure doesn’t include billions more on competing websites.

That $14.3 billion figure blew through expectations, and beat last year’s number by 60%.

In comparison, sales on Cyber Monday, which is the biggest online shopping day in the US, hit $1.35bn, according to data analytics firm ComScore.

Singles Day is held every year on 11 November. The day is also referred to as Double Eleven because of its date.

Singles’ Day was originally a mock celebration in China for people not in relationships, but in 2009 Alibaba co-opted the event and turned it into a consumer-fest for all, featuring steep discounts and other promotions aimed at attracting droves of online customers. Alibaba’s sales data has also been closely watched as a gauge of Chinese consumption as economic growth slows.

One of the new sales channels pumping up Alibaba’s Singles’ Day sales this year was Suning Commerce Group, in which it bought a 20% stake in August. Suning’s in-store sales will count towards Alibaba’s total gross merchandise volume, as long as they go through final processing online, an Alibaba spokesman said.

The company also stressed its focus on international e-commerce this Singles’ Day. “Within the next five years, we expect China will become the world’s largest e-commerce market for imported products,” Alibaba’s president, Michael Evans, told reporters on Wednesday.

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