Chinese consumers spend billions in Singles’ Day extravaganza

A screen shows the value of goods being transacted during Alibaba Group’s 11.11 Singles’ Day global shopping festival at the company’s headquarters in Hangzhou. (AFP)

 

AFP

E-commerce giant Alibaba filled billions of dollars in orders on Monday during China’s annual “Singles’ Day” shopping frenzy, the world’s biggest 24-hour shopping event.

Total gross merchandise volume settled through the company’s payments platform Alipay hit $14.3 billion (100 billion yuan) within 63 minutes and 59 seconds, according to Alibaba – 43 minutes ahead of last year’s pace.

The Alibaba Group also said it hit $12 billion (84 billion yuan) within the first hour, up 22 percent from last year’s early haul of $9.86 billion (69 billion yuan).

The promotion, now in its 11th year, kicked off early Monday with Chinese online buyers seizing on sales prices to snap up everything from electronics to clothing and housewares.

The first $1 billion was spent in just 68 seconds, Alibaba said.

The event is considered a useful annual gauge of consumer sentiment in China, where the economy is amid a long-term slowdown but retail sales have remained a bright spot as China’s consumer market continues to grow.

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