Markets

China's Singles' Day sales hit 1.5 bln Dollars in first 3 minutes

China's Singles' Day sales hit 1.5 bln Dollars in first 3 minutes

Analysts say Alibaba will take Singles' Day global as Chinese e-commerce growth rates are expected to slow in the years ahead. The 1-day online shopping event has passed $20.3 billion in sales 7 hours before the end of the sale.

This year, the company saw consumers spending 10 billion yuan (US$1.5 billion) in 3 minutes after the 24-hour shopping spree kicked off on November 11, 2017, compared with 10 billion yuan in 6 minutes of Singles' Day last year.

For this year's festival, Alibaba has employed a "new retail" strategy to bring together the online and offline shopping experiences.

Alibaba rivals such as JD.com also reported brisk business.

Five minutes after midnight, Alipay was processing 256,000 payment transactions per second, doubling last year's high-water mark, Alibaba said.

Global consulting firm Oliver Wyman estimated this week that Alibaba's Singles' Day sales across all e-commerce platforms this year will surge to a record 152 billion yuan (US$23 billion), compared with total spending of 120.7 billion yuan in 2016 on Alibaba platforms, including Tmall and Taobao.

The percentage of GMV generated by mobile users was 90% - a clear sign that Alibaba has realized the goal it set several years ago to migrate consumers to the platform they hold in their hand. The day of shopping brings in more sales than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined in the US.

As the clock ticks to midnight, the regular Ali, Ah Chong and Muthu will be scrambling to click on the button of that famous online shopping boutique for the planet's biggest online shopping fest, Alibaba's "11.11 Singles" Day'.

The day's transaction volumes are pumped up by many Chinese delaying purchases of mundane items like rice and toilet paper to take advantage of cut-rate prices.

This loneliest of dates (one-one-one-one), which meant to resemble four solitary sticks, is when China celebrates its Singles' Day.

That figure does not include other days of the Singles' Day shopping event.

"This is a big event for China, for the Chinese economy", Mr Joseph Tsai, Alibaba's co-founder and vice-chairman, said.