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Alibaba’s Singles’ Day rakes in record $38.4bn

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Chinese retailer Alibaba’s sales for its 24-hour Singles’ Day shopping spree hit a record $38.4 billion.

According to Reuters, this is more than US rival Amazon.com’s haul in the last quarter from online store sales.

Singles’ Day, or Guanggun Jie, is a shopping holiday popular among young Chinese people who celebrate their pride in being single.

The date, 11 November, was chosen because the number “1” resembles an individual who is alone.

Alibaba turned China’s informal Singles’ Day into a shopping event in 2009 and built it into the world’s biggest online sales fest, dwarfing Cyber Monday in the US which took in $7.9 billion last year.

The shopping festival began in 2009 with participation from just 27 merchants as an event for merchants and consumers to raise awareness about the value of online shopping.

More than 200 000 brands participated in this year’s event.

In a statement, Alibaba says the $38.4 billion figure is an increase of 26% compared to 2018.

“Today, we showed the world what the future of consumption looks like for brands and consumers,” said Fan Jiang, president of Taobao and Tmall.

“We are meeting the growing demand of Chinese consumers and helping them upgrade their lifestyles, while introducing new users to our digital economy from across China and around the world.”

In addition to a new record gross merchandise volume (GMV), the total number of delivery orders reached a new high: 1.3 billion, up 24% from one billion last year.

There were 299 brands that reached RMB 100 million ($14.2 million) in GMV, including Apple, Nike, Estee Lauder and Giorgio Armani.

The top 10 countries selling to China through Alibaba’s cross-border platforms were Japan, the US, Korea, Australia, Germany, France, the UK, New Zealand, Italy and Canada.

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