Alibaba shopping extravaganza earns US$10b in first hour

Alibaba shopping extravaganza earns US$10b in first hour

Alibaba shopping extravaganza earns US$10b in first hour

This year, Alibaba said there were around 180,000 brands participating in Singles Day, and as of 8:00 p.m. on Sunday sales were nearing $27 billion.

During the first hour of the giant shopping event, known as Singles' Day or 11.11, referring to the date November 11, the top three brands sold were Xiaomi, Apple and Dyson, while the top categories were audio equipment, mobile phones and diapers. That is a significant increase from the $US25.3 billion in gross merchandise volume (GMV) Alibaba shoppers spent in 2017. Singles Day has been a fixture in China since Alibaba turned the "holiday" - meant to deride single people - into a shopping extravaganza by offering deep discounts on a range of products from electronics to travel packages.

And while Evans and Alibaba are confident about Singles Day and Alibaba's role in the future of commerce, reports of a slowing economy in China loom large.

Shoppers in China and across the world snapped up hot items starting pre-dawn, with Alibaba recording roughly $10 billion in sales in the first hour after midnight. Now that this year's one-day bazaar will be Ma's last as chairman, Zhang will need to prove he can carry on the legacy.

Total online sales on Black Friday reached $5 billion in 2017, according to Adobe Analytics data.

Online sales growth is also slowing across the board in the country's eastern mega-cities, including Shanghai and Beijing, and Alibaba said roughly 75% of new users last quarter were in "less developed" areas.

"The most important thing for us for Singles Day is to. make it both interesting and productive for our merchants ー and that they can test new products and learn about have much closer consumer engagement ー and for the consumers that they can have fun. People are very interested, I think partly because they have heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday and they think that's quite big".

Singles Day began as a spoof event celebrated by unattached Chinese university students in the 1990s, countering Valentine's Day. The holiday originally didn't have much to do with shopping.

Will Singles Day keep on growing?

Sales of Tmall's first shopping festival totaled about 52 million yuan.

Alibaba was crucial in making Singles' Day, previously an obscure holiday observed by just a handful of companies, a massive cultural phenomenon over the last decade. The retail celebration on November 11 dedicated to the nation's unattached has become an important bellwether not just for the company, but also the world's No. 2 economy.

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