Chinese retailers reach new sales records on Singles Day shopping frenzy

Chinese retailers reach new sales records on Singles Day shopping frenzy

November 11 is being celebrated since 2009 as an online antidote to the sentimentality surrounding Valentine's Day. In a mere 10 hours time that number has increased to $10 billion.

The Chinese company hit a record $1bn in sales in 85 seconds, and then just shy of $10bn in the first hour of the 24-hour spree. "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". Singles Day looks set to grow and grow and is already the world's biggest shopping event.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd settled roughly 69 billion yuan ($9.92 billion) in the first hour of its annual Singles' Day on Sunday, up roughly 21 percent from last year's early haul of 57 billion yuan.

While the company surpassed last year's sales just before 4pm, the rate is slower than last year when it broke the 2016 record around four hours earlier at midday.

The spending binge has for years eclipsed Cyber Monday in the USA for online purchases made on a single day.

Alibaba's Singles' Day surpassed Amazon's biggest shopping day of the year in less than 10 minutes. The company is focusing on the 300 million Chinese people who are expected to enter the ranks of the middle class over the next five years, Evans said.

Alibaba kicks off the annual event with a gala, which this year featured USA singer Mariah Carey, a Japanese Beyonce impersonator and a shoe-shopping-themed Cirque du Soleil performance.

Media captionAlibaba Singles Day: Dollars or data?

Earlier this month it revised down its full-year sales outlook by 4-6 percent, sending further chills through the company's stock price, which has dropped roughly 16 percent this year after nearly doubling in 2017.

The Twitter-like Weibo platform was blanketed with Singles Day-related posts on Sunday, from users proudly proclaiming that they had resisted the shopping urge this year to those who cheerfully listed an array of mundane purchases.

Also known as Double 11, the shopping extravaganza will draw to a close at midnight. The current chief executive will take over as schairman next year, Alibaba announced in September.

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