Black Friday 2018 is nothing compared to China’s Singles Day

Posted November 12, 2018

Consumers took less than two hours to rack up 100 billion yuan in purchases after the festival began at midnight, a milestone that took seven more hours to achieve a year ago.

Today, Singles' Day has expanded to become a shopping festival for everyone, and Alibaba holds an annual Double 11 star-studded gala packed with celebrities and performances to entertain its millions of users as they shop. The 24-hour sale had managed gross sales to the tune of $25 billion a year ago. After 15 hours, it broke last year's final tally and by the end of the 24-hour sale, shoppers had contributed to a whopping $30.8 billion in sales with over 1 billion delivery orders made.

Still, there was some uncertainty this year, as the trade war and deflating asset values threaten to disrupt economic growth.

Earlier this month, Alibaba revised down its full-year revenue forecast, sending a chill through investors, as it said sales of big-ticket items would be impacted.

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To compensate, the company will take in less commission from its platforms in the near term to retain brands and attract new buyers, it said.

According to Joseph Tsai, Executive Vice Chairman of Alibaba Group, the investment in the payment platform helps them understand the Indian market. "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.

For comparison, total online sales on Black Friday reached $US5 billion in 2017, according to Adobe Analytics data. But we have to change.

Alibaba Group chief executive Daniel Zhang said the record sales figures showed the strength of China's "consumption economy".

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Alibaba kicked off this year's sales with a gala event that featured US singer Mariah Carey, a Japanese Beyonce impersonator and a Cirque du Soleil performance.

The gala was so huge that Alibaba founder Jack Ma chose to debut his 22-minute short film featuring A-list Chinese actors such as Jet Li and Donnie Yen there previous year.

During this year's event the company said it worked with 180,000 brands across over 200 countries, and shortly before midnight on Sunday it had sent over a billion packages.

The first $1bn of transactions were completed in one minute and 25 seconds, Alibaba, which is often compared to Amazon, said on Sunday. "Steep discounts on the Tmall Genie smart speaker during Singles' Day past year, as well as the introduction of lower-priced mini versions of several smart speakers in early 2018, were key in accelerating growth".

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