China Singles Day online sales touches record high

China’s annual Singles Day online shopping festival brings in big numbers every year but even by its own standards, the e-commerce event hit a new high this week, with e-commerce giant Alibaba raking in sales worth 498.2 billion yuan (roughly $75bn).

Alibaba said on Thursday its sales marked a 26% increase from last year. The amount includes sales made on November 11 – called Singles Day in China – and during a three-day period between November 1 and 3.

Along with JD.com, Alibaba racked up around $115bn in sales across their platforms during the Singles Day shopping event.

Official media reported that e-commerce giant JD.com also scored big in the period, with sales topping 243.1bn yuan ($35.76bn) between November 1 and November 11 afternoon.

This year’s event comes in the backdrop of the recovering Chinese economy, which had taken a battering because of the Coronavirus pandemic followed by the worst floods in decades.

China seems to have broadly controlled the pandemic despite sporadic cases of small Covid-19 clusters that have broken out in cities like Urumqi and Qingdao.

State media reported that the massive sales on Singles Day indicate a fast recovering economy.

“At the shopping peak, 583,000 orders were made in a single second on Tmall, setting a new online shopping record,” official news agency, Xinhua reported late on Wednesday.

More than 800 million shoppers, 250,000 brands and 5 million merchants participated in this year’s shopping spree, according to a statement by Tmall, Alibaba’s international e-commerce arm.

“Notably, sales of JD’s fast-delivery grocery business soared a staggering 50-fold compared with the same period last year, while its sales of 5G smartphones spiked 11 folds,” the Xinhua report said.

Sales of imported products for new mothers and babies on JD doubled year on year and mobile phones offering optimal gaming experience grew by 160%.

“We have found that an increasing number of overseas brands chose to enter the Chinese market by opening their first store on Tmall Global,” said Liu Peng, president of Tmall Import and Export.

Expecting a soaring demand for foreign goods, Tmall Global imported a huge variety of products from over 100 overseas farms, ranches, and wineries, including 1,000 tonnes of milk from Uruguay, 2.6 million bottles of French wine, and 2 tonnes of cubilose from Malaysia.

About 25,000 overseas businesses from more than 220 countries and regions have participated in this year’s shopping spree on Tmall.

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