Alibaba sets record US$30.8 billion in Singles’ Day sales

Alibaba sets record US$30.8 billion in Singles’ Day sales

E-commerce giant Alibaba has set new sales records on Sunday for its biggest shopping day, the annual Singles Day.

With 6 hours to go, Alibaba's Single's Day sales has already overtaken its 2017 total of $25.3 billion in 24 hours. It's much much bigger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

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 sale on November 11.

This Sunday in China it is "Singles Day".

Hema, a grocery store launched by Alibaba in 2015 and one of the "new retail" flagships, allows customers to shop and dine in-store as well as order groceries online.

This month, Alibaba cut its sales forecast for the year ending in March by around 5 percent, citing the wobbly economy and the trade war.

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While not an exact match, Alibaba's Singles' Day is similar to Amazon's Prime Day in many ways.

Single's Day is not a traditional Chinese holiday.

"That trend is not going to stop, trade war or no trade war".

Chinese e-commerce platforms have come under fire in the past for peddling low-quality and counterfeit items.

"People are swept up in the festivities", Hong said in a phone interview.

The gala was so huge that Alibaba founder Jack Ma chose to debut his 22-minute short film featuring A-list Chinese actors such as Jet Li and Donnie Yen there past year.

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The Twitter-like Weibo platform was blanketed with Singles Day-related posts today, from users proudly proclaiming that they had resisted the shopping urge this year to those who cheerfully listed an array of mundane purchases.

The gala featured global celebrity appearances and performances from Miranda Kerr, Mariah Carey and Cirque du Soleil, which viewers were able to watch via two major TV stations as well as Youku's site. The current chief executive will take over as schairman next year, Alibaba announced in September.

"This burst of consumption, confined to just one day, can be exhausting for both buyers and sellers".

Analysts say that despite continued strong growth, sales are likely to be hit by economic headwinds and new competition from competing sales events.

"Chinese consumers, especially the millennials, are incredibly confident about their futures, and that tends to enable spending, when you feel like you're going to make more next year than this year", said Jeffrey Towson, a professor of investment at Peking University Guanghua School of Management.

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