Alibaba says Singles’ Day sales hit 91.2 billion yuan in first hour

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Alibaba, singles day

Alibaba, singles day
Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Inc said on Monday that sales for its annual Singles’ Day shopping blitz hit 91.2 billion yuan ($13 billion) within the first hour, up 32% from last year’s early haul of 69 billion yuan.

Akin to Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States, Singles’ Day has been promoted as a shopping fest by Alibaba Chairman and Chief Executive Daniel Zhang since 2009, growing rapidly to become the world’s biggest online sales event.

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Also known as “Double Eleven”, the festival’s name originates from the calendar date 11/11, with the four ones referencing being single. Alibaba saw sales worth $30 billion on its platforms on Singles’ Day last year, dwarfing $7.9 billion U.S. online sales for Cyber Monday. Yet the 27% sales growth was the lowest in the event’s 10-year history, spurring a search for fresh ideas.

The $486 billion Chinese retail juggernaut kicked off this year’s 24-hour shopping fest with performances by American pop star Taylor Swift and local celebrities like Jackson Yee.

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This is the first time Alibaba’s Singles’ Day does not have flamboyant co-founder Jack Ma at its helm, after he resigned in September as chairman.

It also comes at a crucial time for the company, which is looking to raise up to $15 billion via a share sale in Hong Kong this month.

Alibaba continues to dominate the online shopping industry, but not without competition.

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In addition to longtime rival JD.com, it now faces competition from upstart Pinduoduo, which surged in popularity in 2017 by targeting consumers in China’s lower-tier cities.

Source: Reuters

Vanguard News

 

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