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Chinese spend billions shopping online on 'Singles Day'

12 November, 2017, 00:51 | Author: Paula Vaughn
  • The Singles Day Sales start tomorrow

In 2016, $17.8 billion was taken in gross merchandise value over the full 24 hours - itself up 32 percent from 2015 and roughly equal to the annual economic output of Mozambique.

With those numbers, not Black Friday, Cyber Monday or Valentine's Day, can compete with Singles' Day as of yet.

China is already the world's largest e-commerce market and the share of online shopping that makes up all consumer spending grows every year.

The massive, promotion-driven shopping event in China that drives the biggest one-day online sales in the world, is not the natural setting for high-end luxury brands - so e-commerce marketplace Alibaba made a place for them.

Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, said its Singles' Day sales extravaganza hit 168.3 billion yuan (S$34.6 billion), smashing its own record from previous year and cementing it as the world's biggest shopping event.

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

More than 90 percent of orders were placed via mobile, the majority of which on Alibaba's main e-commerce platform Taobao.com (淘寶).

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Singles's Day far out ranks the entire Black Friday Weekend in terms of sales, previous year Single's Day sales were triple the combined total from Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Double 11's transaction volume is pumped up by many Chinese holding off on purchases of everyday items like rice and toilet paper to take advantage of the price-slashing.

But environmentalists complain of ecological harm, accusing Alibaba and other e-commerce companies of fuelling a culture of excessive over-consumption and mountains of waste.

Greenpeace said "Singles Day" deliveries previous year created 130,000 tonnes of packaging waste - less than 10 percent of which is recycled.

Alibaba hosts a live blog with the latest updates of the 11.11 Shopping events here.

Currently, global purchasers are able to join the festival in China through its delivery arm Aliexpress that enables shoppers around the world to purchase goods from Chinese online merchants.

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