Alibaba's Singles Day beats Amazon Prime Day

11 November, 2018, 19:45 | Author: Brooke Harris
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Online discounts have been offered on 11 November, Alibaba's informal holiday for singles, since 2009.

The e-commerce giant launched the annual online shopping promotion on November 11, 2009, a day celebrated by many Chinese young people as Single's Day.

A giant screen displays sales on Alibaba's online marketplace Tmall for Singles' Day shopping spree in Shanghai, east China, Nov. 11, 2018. In 2017 the company handled 256,000 transactions per second in the 24-hour period and shipped 775 million parcels. Amazon does not release Prime Day sales figures, but the company said it was "the biggest shopping event in Amazon history", exceeding sales from Cyber Monday, Black Friday, and the previous Prime Day. Wrong. Singles' Day dwarfs Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

For Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., that was the year co-founder Jack Ma created China's first retail extravaganza around the holiday of Singles' Day.

For comparison, Amazon's sales were estimated to reach roughly $US4.2 billion over the company's 36-hour Prime Day in July. By the first 35 minutes of the shopping festival, GMV exceeded 57.1 billion yuan, beating its 2014 levels.

While sales growth remains steady, Alibaba's stock has dropped 16% this year amid economic uncertainties linked to brewing trade tensions between China and the United States.

Singles' Day had topped $6.5 billion in sales 20 minutes into its 11/11 event, which kicked off at midnight on Sunday in Shanghai.

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Singles Day began as a spoof event celebrated by unattached Chinese university students in the 1990s.

Alibaba's Singles' Day sale is just not an online sale fest.

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

The opening of 11.11 global shopping event was enlivened by performances featuring Mariah Carey, Cirque du Soleil and many more.

The Jack Ma-led e-tailer registered sales worth 69 billion yuan, or $9.92 billion, within one hour of the November sale event.

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.

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.

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