Alibaba hosts a large gala on the Friday before Singles Day. The 1-day online shopping event has passed $20.3 billion in sales 7 hours before the end of the sale. This year's sales are expected to set a new record, with over 60,000 brands selling their wares through Alibaba's online platforms.
Alibaba reported that sales from Singles' Day amounted to $25.3 billion, a 40 percent jump from last year's figures. "This is a huge increase from last year's figures which saw a collective spend of US$17.8 billion in 24 hours - more than the annual e-commerce sales of Brazil", James Hebbert, UK Managing Director from Hylink, a digital advertising agency, told the South China Morning Post.
Alibaba said hundreds of millions of Southeast Asian consumers will be able to access Taobao this "Singles Day". It is expected that an estimated 1.5 billion parcels related to the event will be shipped over the next six days to millions of people across more than 600 cities. Shoppers from more than 200 countries were buying and 90 percent of purchases were made from cell phones.
Alibaba launched "Singles Day" as the Chinese online answer to the late-November US "Black Friday" shopping rush, capitalising on the Chinese love of a good bargain and the growing national addiction to one-click smartphone payments.
Alibaba and JD stock have both doubled this year as revenues surged.
The two largest economies of the world have already witnesses robust e-commerce growth over the past decade, and Alibaba's success on Singles Day highlights the very long growth runway that the industry still enjoys.
Alibaba is investing heavily in creating an entire user ecosystem encompassing cloud computing, artificial intelligence, automated stores using face-recognition, and is pushing into overseas markets under much-travelled boss Jack Ma, one of China's richest men.
Greenpeace said "Singles Day" deliveries previous year resulted in 130,000 metric tons (143,000 short tons) of packaging waste in what it called a "disaster for the environment".
First introduced in 2009, the 11.11 shopping festival, featuring a 24-hour online shopping promotion on Alibaba's major platforms, has fast-grown into a landmark celebration on a global scale.
"This is just the start".