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Alibaba Singles’ Day smashes $25bn sales record

Alibaba Singles’ Day smashes $25bn sales record

SHANGHAI: Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd smashed the 2017 record for its Singles’ Day sales event on Sunday, surpassing 168 billion yuan ($24.15 billion) sales in under 16 hours and closing the day at 213bn yuan ($30bn).

Singles’ Day, also called “Double 11” is the world’s biggest online sales event, outstripping US shopping holiday Black Friday.

The Chinese event was originally a novelty student holiday to celebrate being single, countering Valenti­nes Day, but has since grown into a month-long online shopping festival that peaks with a 24-hour sales frenzy on November 11.

A disproportionately large number of sales are recorded in the first minutes of the 24-hour spending spree, when transactions are recor­ded for items that have been put on hold.

The company settled roug­h­ly 69 billion yuan ($9.92 billion) in the first hour of Singles’ Day on Sunday, up roughly 21 per cent from last year’s early haul of 57 billion yuan. Items selling well included smartphones and other electronics, but also staples such as milk powder and diapers.

Published in Dawn, November 12th, 2018

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