China’s ‘Singles Day’ shopping frenzy sets sales records

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(CTV News | November 11, 2018)

Sales during the Singles’ Day sale in China have surpassed last year’s record, by raking up $30.8 billion in sales on the annual sales event 10th year.

The spending binge has for years outshone Cyber Monday in the U.S. for online purchases made on a single day.

This year’s tally was 27 percent higher than a year ago. It breaks from gloomy forecasts about the world’s second-largest economy, which is struggling with a tariff war with the U.S., a stock market slump and slowing overall growth.

Known as Singles Day, the clamour for deals and discounts was heralded with characteristic fanfare by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, which has turned an unofficial holiday for people without romantic partners into a yearly windfall for digital retailers.

At the end of the 24-hour spree, Alibaba reported sales totalled up to 213.5 billion yuan ($30.8 billion).

Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang said the results reflected “the strength and rise of China’s consumption economy.”

Singles Day began as a spoof event celebrated by unattached Chinese university students in the 1990s. In Chinese, it’s called “Double 11,” after the numbers in the month and date. The improvised holiday was co-opted by e-retailers in 2009 and transformed into China’s version of Cyber Monday, as the Monday after Thanksgiving is known.

Nearly $6.6 billion in sales were made on Cyber Monday in 2017, up about 17 percent from the previous year, according to Adobe Analytics.

 

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