Alibaba smashes Singles' Day records with 39% sales lift

A new survey commissioned by Greenpeace of the shopping habits of people in Europe and Asia

Alibaba has also organised a line-up of global celebrities to perform in a four-hour-long entertainment show in Shanghai on Friday evening, both on live television and through the internet, to kick off the event.

Singles' Day now marks the start of a 24-day shopping festival.

Alibaba offers an e-commerce marketplace, while JD.com has a more vertical operation like Amazon ( AMZN ).

As tills shut at midnight yesterday, Alibaba's live sales ticker registered 168.3 billion yuan or US$25.4 billion, up 39 per cent from 120.7 billion yuan previous year - more than double the 2016 gross domestic product of Brunei (US$11.4 billion).

That blew well past the $17.8 billion logged over the full 24 hours last year, which itself marked a 32 percent year-on-year increase. Market research experts say the massive growth is attributed to retailers competing for a share of consumer spending in China's growing economy. These sales were added towards the total sales for Singles' Day.

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Chinese shoppers on Saturday spent billions of dollars in an annual online commercial extravaganza that was once meant as a celebration for lonely hearts. Alipay processed 1.5 billion payment transactions in total, up 41% from 2016, and processed 256,000 transactions per second at peak. It is expected that an estimated 1.5 billion parcels related to the event will be shipped over the next six days to millions of people across more than 600 cities.

Alibaba launched "Singles Day" as the Chinese online answer to the late-November US "Black Friday" shopping rush, capitalising on the Chinese love of a good bargain and the growing national addiction to one-click smartphone payments.

This year, the company will spread its sales to physical buildings, with 10% of China's convenience stores participating.

Singles's Day far out ranks the entire Black Friday Weekend in terms of sales, a year ago Single's Day sales were triple the combined total from Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

"It could end up dominating e-commerce in developing countries".

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