12 November, 2017
Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, said its Singles' Day sales extravaganza hit 168.3 billion yuan (S$34.6 billion), smashing its own record from previous year and cementing it as the world's biggest shopping event. Singles' Day, then, appears to be celebrating a marriage after all-one of cyberspace and reality. The 1-day online shopping event has passed $20.3 billion in sales 7 hours before the end of the sale.
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.
"This is a big event for China, for the Chinese economy", Mr Joseph Tsai, Alibaba's co-founder and vice-chairman, said. Additionally, the retailer hit a record $18 billion in just 13 hours, eclipsing last year's record of $17.8 billion in 24 hours. But, it was transformed into a shopping event akin to America's Black Friday by e-commerce giant Alibaba in 2011. Shoppers from more than 200 countries were buying and 90 percent of purchases were made from cell phones. At its peak, the company's processors handled 256,000 transactions per second.
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An estimated 1.5 billion parcels will need to be delivered over the next week.
"This study provides a deep dive into the largest e-commerce market in the world". Alibaba's been trying to tell us all along, like all good friends do when they see the writing on the wall, but a record day of sales may just prove the point once and for all.
Alibaba turned 100,000 physical shops around China into "smart stores" for this year's event. Last year, there were 98,000.
It is a reminder for Malaysians of the recently-launched Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) in Sepang, Selangor, one that is touted to achieve similar success to Alibaba and 11.11, but with Malaysian small-medium enterprises (SMEs).