Published: Sun, November 12, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

The Singles Day Sales start tomorrow

The Singles Day Sales start tomorrow

Eighteen hours later, at 6:00 pm (1000 GMT) on Saturday, Alibaba said the gross value of sales processed by its online payment system Alipay was nearing $21 billion - roughly equivalent to the annual economic output of Honduras or Afghanistan. Last year, sales on Alibaba's platforms totaled over 120.7 billion yuan, a record for the company. The final Alibaba 11.11 Singles Shopping Event could close in on $25 billion, depending on the momentum in the last hours of the sale.

Additionally, the retailer hit a record $18 billion in just 13 hours, eclipsing last year's record of $17.8 billion in 24 hours.

Credit Aly Song/Reuters Photo Alibaba's Singles Day gala, held before the e-commerce giant's annual shopping extravaganza, drew performers like the singers Pharrell Williams and Karen Mok. Thanks to the "Thanksgiving creep", sales on Thanksgiving Day were at $1.9 billion. There were 256,000 payment transactions processed per second by Alipay, Alibaba's Alizila news website reported.

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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Chinese consumers are spending billions of dollars shopping online for anything from diapers to diamonds on "Singles Day", a day of promotions that has grown into the world's biggest e-commerce event. The Sixth Tone reports that Chinese retailers traditionally put a limit on how many items you can put in your online shopping cart to help "ease operations", encouraging buyers to put in one purchase order rather than multiple transactions that require more processing. Greenpeace said Singles' Day deliveries a year ago created 130,000 tonnes of packaging waste - less than 10 per cent of which is recycled.

This loneliest of dates (one-one-one-one), which meant to resemble four solitary sticks, is when China celebrates its Singles' Day.

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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