Culture

Alibaba Singles Day Sale Breaks Record With $25B USD Sold

Alibaba Singles Day Sale Breaks Record With $25B USD Sold”

Alibaba hosts a large gala on the Friday before Singles Day.

Singles' Day now marks the start of a 24-day shopping festival.

With more than half of China's 1.3 billion people being smartphone users, it is no surprise that more than 90% of orders were made by mobile, a lot of them on taobao.com, Alibaba's main e-commerce platform.

As tills shut at midnight yesterday, Alibaba's live sales ticker registered 168.3 billion yuan or US$25.4 billion, up 39 per cent from 120.7 billion yuan past year - more than double the 2016 gross domestic product of Brunei (US$11.4 billion). "By 2020, China's e-commerce market is set to be larger than those of the US, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom and France combined", said Nick Landon, managing director of Royal Mail Parcels. These sales were added towards the total sales for Singles' Day.

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While there is no definitive explanation on the origins of Singles' Day, it is believed by many to have been conceived in the 1990s as a day for China's legions of unmarried young adults to celebrate their lack of romantic commitments.

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.

Couriers and robots are expected to deliver an estimated 1.5 billion parcels over the next six days. Alibaba's been trying to tell us all along, like all good friends do when they see the writing on the wall, but a record day of sales may just prove the point once and for all.

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

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Alibaba has also introduced Hema Stores, wherein consumers can walk into the offline store and scan each of the products present in the store through their mobile phones to know more information about it. There were 256,000 payment transactions processed per second by Alipay, Alibaba's Alizila news website reported.

Their e-commerce business works differently than Amazon.com or other large retail giants. "I have often emptied my "shopping cart" on Singles Day", Zheng said.

It is a reminder for Malaysians of the recently-launched Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) in Sepang, Selangor, one that is touted to achieve similar success to Alibaba and 11.11, but with Malaysian small-medium enterprises (SMEs). "We will see tens of billions of dollars injected overseas (by Alibaba)", said Mr Li Chengdong, a Beijing-based independent e-commerce analyst.

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