Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Inc said on November 11 that sales for its annual Singles' Day shopping touched a record 84 billion yuan ($12 billion) within the first hour which is up by 22 per cent as compared to last year's early haul of 69 billion yuan. Amid the Black Friday and Cyber Monday being marked in the US, Singles' Day has been promoted as a shopping fest by Alibaba Chairman and Chief Executive Daniel Zhang since 2009 which has grown to a large extent to become the world's grandest online sales event. The name of the festival originates from the calendar date 11/11 which is also known as 'Double Eleven'.
Alibaba netted sales worth $30 billion on its platforms on Singles' Day last year dominating the $7.9 billion US online sales for Cyber Monday. Although the 27 per cent sales growth marked the lowest in the event's 10-year history, boosting a search for new and innovative ideas. Citic Securities on November 9 researched and noted that Forecast Singles' Day sales growth is expected to be 20-25% this year that has partly slowed down the overall e-commerce growth in China. The $486 billion Chinese e-commerce giant kicked off this year's 24-hour shopping fest with performances from American pop star Taylor Swift and local celebrities like Jackson Yee.
It is the first time Alibaba's Singles' Day does not have its co-founder Jack Ma at its helm after he resigned in September as chairman. It is also a very important time for the company which is looking to raise up to $15 billion via a share sale in Hong Kong this month. The e-commerce giant continues to dominate the online shopping industry, without competing with anyone. It's longtime rival JD.com now faces stiff competition from the new company, Pinduoduo which became very popular in 2017 by targeting consumers in the low tier cities of China.