Millennium Post

Alibaba's Singles' Day sales hits new high, $24.3 billion by mid-day

Beijing: China's e-commerce giant Alibaba broke last year's 'Singles' Day' record by logging USD 24.3 billion in sales by mid-day during the annual online shopping fiesta on Sunday.

The Alibaba Group's various shopping platforms broke the 10 billion-yuan (USD 1.44 billion) sales threshold within the first two minutes and five seconds, after the e-commerce giant kicked off the 10th year of its iconic Double 11 shopping gala (also called 11.11 sale).

The Alibaba Group surpassed last year's Singles' Day record with more than eight hours to go before the end of the 24-hour shopping festival, cementing its position as the world's biggest retail event and assuaging concerns that Chinese consumer sentiment is softening, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post, which is owned by Alibaba, reported.

Also known as Double 11, the shopping extravaganza will draw to a close at midnight. Consumers spent a total of 168.5 billion yuan (USD 24.3 billion) by the afternoon, the report said.

Last year, the Alibaba Group reported USD 25.3 billion of orders.

Other brands and e-commerce retailers like, Mogujie and VipShop too reported heavy sales.

November 11 is being celebrated since 2009 as an online antidote to the sentimentality surrounding Valentine's Day. It was named "Singles' Day" because its date, 11/11 (November 11), consists of four "ones," representing four singles.

November 11 has become a default date for people to snap up things and binge on entertainment shows. Alibaba is also using the occasion to test the limits of its cloud computing, delivery, and payment capabilities, as well as try out new business endeavours that are uprooting traditional retailers.

Sales were helped by the participation of Alibaba's Southeast Asia unit Lazada, as well as subsidiaries, Koubei, supermarket chain Hema and other business units.

The total gross merchandise volume (GMV) for this year's Singles' Day or the value of total transactions on the platform is keenly watched as a barometer of consumer spending and retail health in the world's second-biggest economy amid the trade war with US.

The US has slapped additional tariffs on USD 250 billion worth of goods demanding China to reduce USD 375 billion trade deficit.

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