Economy

Alibaba's Singles' Day smashes records with over $30bn in sales

Alibaba's Singles' Day smashes records with over $30bn in sales

The company settled roughly $1 billion within the first one minute and twenty-five seconds after midnight.

Shoppers in China have once again broken records after spending more than $14bn within the first two hours of an annual online buying frenzy.

Almost $6.6 billion in sales were made on Cyber Monday in 2017, up about 17 percent from the previous year, according to Adobe Analytics.

The sale covers obvious goods like smartphones, TVs and other big-ticket consumer items, but also fashion, clothing, furniture, health products and more.

While the company surpassed last year's sales just before 4pm, the rate is slower than last year when it broke the 2016 record around four hours earlier at midday.

"This year's "double eleven", in terms of the size of consumption, data, I think should be successful". "It's commerce but it's also entertainment, this is not necessarily people who are buying stuff that they need in life, it's a big festival, it's fun and there are good discounts". It had started in the 1990s on university campuses as a celebration of being single, a retort of sorts to Valentine's Day.

Singles Day was originally set aside as an unofficial day for China's unmarried, but Alibaba latched on to it a decade ago as a shopping promotion akin to the late-November US "Black Friday" retail crush.

Within half an hour of Singles' Day, 30 brands, including Nike, Uniqlo, Adidas, Procter & Gamble, Xiaomi and Apple had crossed 100 million yuan in sales.

And Alibaba hopes it will make all the difference on this year's Singles Day ー and for Alibaba's future.

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The gala featured worldwide celebrity appearances and performances from Miranda Kerr, Mariah Carey and Cirque du Soleil, which viewers were able to watch via two major TV stations as well as Youku's site.

The Twitter-like Weibo platform was blanketed with Singles Day-related posts today, from users proudly proclaiming that they had resisted the shopping urge this year to those who cheerfully listed an array of mundane purchases.

Will Singles Day keep on growing?

It's expected to be the company's final November sale with founder and chairman Jack Ma at the helm, and Zhang will take over as chairman next year, the company said in September.

This is huge for the e-commerce platform, and it had racked in over $1 billion in just a minute and 25 seconds. "And if we can do those two things, all of those people will be back to our platform ー next week, next month, next year", Evans said. The sale is a one-day long event.

Analysts said the sales continue to be cannibalised by competing events, including the "618" festival spearheaded by Alibaba competitor JD.com Inc in June. Alibaba is also using the occasion to test the limits of its cloud computing, delivery, and payment capabilities, as well as try out new business endeavours that are uprooting traditional retailers. Alibaba has said that it wants to take the show aboard at some point.

Greenpeace estimated that by 2020, "biodegradable" packaging could produce roughly 721 truckloads of trash in China every day.

This month, Alibaba cut its sales forecast for the year ending in March by around 5 percent, citing the wobbly economy and the trade war.