China’s on-line Singles Day gross sales exceed USD 74 billion, new document

Beijing, November 12

China is gripped by “Singles’ Day” online shopping frenzy this month as sales on e-commerce giant Alibaba’s e-commerce platform Tmall exceeded USD 74.1 billion, a new record for the 12-year-old event, said a media report on Thursday.

Sales on Tmall exceeded 498.2 billion yuan (USD 74.1 billion) between November 1 and November 11, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Another e-commerce giant, which started promotions from November 1, said it generated more than 271.5 billion yuan (about USD 41 billion) during the period.

Delivery orders generated during the shopping festival exceeded 2.32 billion as of midnight on November 11, which was close to the total number of packages generated in China in 2010, the report said.

To cater to growing demand from Chinese consumers, Tmall launched this year’s shopping festival early, with the first discount period running from November 1 to November 3 in addition to the normal full-day sales on November 11.

More than 800 million shoppers, 250,000 brands and 5 million merchants participated in this year’s shopping spree, according to Tmall.

November 11 is being celebrated since 2009 as an online antidote to the sentimentality surrounding Valentine’s Day. It was named “Singles’ Day” because its date, 11/11 (November 11), consists of four “ones,” representing four singles.

November 11 has become a default date for people to snap up things and binge on entertainment shows.

Alibaba uses the event 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.

“The Singles’ Day shopping festival is not simply an online shopping event but an important part of the internal circulation of the Chinese economy,” said Zhong Hongjun, an economist with Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.

Behind each online order is the offline participation of multiple parties, including factories, merchants and couriers, he told Xinhua, highlighting China’s efforts to boost domestic consumption in order to reduce reliance on exports.

On November 11 alone, China’s express delivery firms handled 675 million parcels nationwide, up 26.16 per cent year on year, while the total number of parcels handled from November 1 to 11 reached 3.965 billion, the State Post Bureau said. PTI

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