Alibaba Singles’ Day sales hit $23 bn in first nine hours; over 500 mn users likely to participate in shopping festival this year
Alibaba netted sales worth $30 billion on its platforms on Singles’ Day last year, dwarfing the $7.9 billion US online sales for Cyber Monday.
Citic Securities forecast Singles Day sales to grow 20-25% this year, held back partly by slowing overall e-commerce growth in China
Singles' Day was among the top trending topics on China's Twitter-like Weibo microblogging platform on Monday morning
Sales hit $1 billion in the first minute and eight seconds and reached 84 billion yuan in the first hour, up 22% from last year's early haul of 69 billion yuan
Hangzhou, China: Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Inc on Monday said sales for its annual Singles’ Day shopping blitz hit 158.31 billion yuan (£17.69 billion) in its first nine hours, up 25 percent from 126.72 billion yuan at the same point last year.
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.
Also known as “Double Eleven”, the festival’s name originates from the calendar date 11 November, with the four ones of 11/11 signifying being single.
Alibaba netted sales worth $30 billion on its platforms on Singles’ Day last year, dwarfing the $7.9 billion US online sales for Cyber Monday. Yet the 27 percent sales growth was the lowest in the event’s 10-year history, spurring a search for fresh ideas.
Citic Securities, in a 9 November research note, forecast Singles Day sales to grow 20-25 percent this year, held back partly by slowing overall e-commerce growth in China.
The Chinese retail juggernaut, with a market value of $486 billion, kicked off this year’s 24-hour shopping fest with performances by American pop star Taylor Swift and local celebrities such as Jackson Yee.
Sales hit $1 billion in the first minute and eight seconds and reached 84 billion yuan in the first hour, up 22 percent from last year’s early haul of 69 billion yuan.
Singles’ Day was among the top trending topics on China’s Twitter-like Weibo microblogging platform on Monday morning, with users discussing what they spent their money on.
Alibaba has said it expects over 500 million users to participate in the shopping festival this year, about 100 million more than last year.
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 to “start a new life”.
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.
In addition to longtime rival JD.com Inc, it also faces competition from Pinduoduo Inc, which surged in popularity in 2017 by targeting consumers in China’s lower-tier cities.
"An Alibaba spokesman said Ma remains the company's executive chairman and will provide transition plans over a significant period of time," the SCMP wrote.
China's e-commerce giant, Alibaba Group, has been fined 800,000 yuan ($129,000) by the price bureau in eastern Zhejiang province for violations by third-party sellers during promotions on its e-commerce platforms.
When Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's eccentric founder Jack Ma stepped down as CEO two years ago, he declared "the Internet belongs to young people," and promised that most of the company's leaders born in the 1960s would soon retreat from management.