Alibaba’s Singles Day has smashed all records once again
Alibaba has beaten its sales record for its annual China’s Singles Day event. The company said sales this year had reached 121bn yuan ($18bn; £14bn), a rise of 32% on last year’s sales which were worth $14.3bn.
Singles Day is the world’s largest shopping holiday, and this year’s Alibaba number alone is likely to exceed Black Friday and Cyber Monday numbers in the west later this month.
Singles Day takes place each year on November 11. It started as an informal holiday celebrating those not in relationships before tech giant Alibaba turned it into a product discount day in 2009.
Alibaba reported that deals offered by Apple, Nike and Siemens were among the top-sellers with Chinese consumers in the early hours of the day. Local Chinese brands that made a strong showing were appliance manufacturers Haier and Midea, and smartphone maker Meizu.
‘Only 10 percent of China’s total retail spending is happening online, which means that Singles Day will likely keep growing for years to come,’ Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang said.
There’s no denying that Alibaba’s sale is by far the most massive in global e-commerce, and this year marks another year of strong growth for the holiday.
Alibaba’s rival JD.com, which focuses more on electronics, reported receiving more orders in the first nine hours of trading on Friday than it had done during the whole of Singles Day 2014.
‘The number of middle-class consumers in Southeast Asia and India was also growing, and they wanted high-quality goods from the U.S. and Europe,’ Alibaba’s President Evans expressed.
This is the first year that shoppers in Taiwan and Hong Kong could buy global brands on Tmall, Alibaba’s online retail platform, on Singles’ Day and analysts expect the e-commerce event to be gradually rolled out globally in the years ahead.
Patty Cao, an analyst at Aberdeen Asset Management said that the pace of Alibaba sales ‘show that Singles Day might be the ultimate symbol of how the Chinese economy is changing.’
‘It’s not been plain sailing. Growth has taken a significant hit. So events like Singles Day are important indicators to feel the pulse of China’s economy,’ she added.
Singles Day was kicked off with a televised gala event which this year included performances by the One Republic and appearances by basketball legend Kobe Bryant, English football legend David Beckham, and singer-turned-designer Victoria Beckham.