Economy

Alibaba Singles’ Day in China smashes $25 billion sales record

Alibaba Singles’ Day in China smashes $25 billion sales record”

The Chinese event was originally a novelty student holiday to celebrate being single, countering Valentines Day, but has since grown into a month-long online shopping festival that peaks with a 24-hour sale on November 11.

Health supplements topped the list of most popular imported items purchased by consumers in China as of 12pm, followed by milk powder, facial masks and milk powder, according to Alibaba.

The shopping frenzy has broken world records in e-commerce sales - surpassing last year's record at 17:34 Hong Kong Time (10:34 GMT). Alibaba's Single's Day sales reached 168.2 billion yuan previous year. Amazon does not release Prime Day sales figures, but the company said it was "the biggest shopping event in Amazon history", exceeding sales from Cyber Monday, Black Friday, and the previous Prime Day.

Alibaba kicks off the annual event with a gala, which this year featured USA singer Mariah Carey, a Japanese Beyonce impersonator and a shoe-shopping-themed Cirque du Soleil performance.

Gross merchandise value encompasses value generated globally across Alibaba's swiftly expanding ecosystem, which includes Taobao.com, Tmall, and concepts that blend online and offline sales, like the supermarket chain Hema.

It's expected to be the company's final November sale event with founder and chairman Jack Ma at the helm. The company had announced in September earlier this year that the current chief executive Daniel Zhang will take over as chairman next year. By the 1 hour and 47 minute mark, that number had increased tenfold.

Chinese e-commerce platforms have come under fire in the past for peddling low-quality and counterfeit items. "This burst of consumption, confined to just one day, can be exhausting for both buyers and sellers".

"Having said that, there are more consumers who still enjoy shopping at double 11 than those that don't", he said.

The occasion also has big environmental implications. Alibaba has said that it wants to take the show aboard at some point.

Alibaba has also faced new challenges this year, such as new rivals in the market, a slowing economy and its stock dropping 16% thanks to China's trade war with the US.



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