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Alibaba believes that over 500 million users will take part in the shopping event this year, about 100 million more than last year.
Every year on November, 11, the Chinese celebrate the biggest shopping event knows as Singles’ Day. It is always a big deal for the retailing giant Alibaba and legions of other online shoppers, and this year is no exception. Alibaba, that has been promoting the event since 2009, has said that in the first nine hours, sales for the Singles’ Day shopping blitz reached 158.31 billion yuan ($22.63 billion), which is equal to more than half of last year’s record haul for the 24-hour event.
Singles’ Day pre-sales started three weeks ago. As Alibaba stated, Estée Lauder recorded 1 billion yuan ($143 million) in pre-orders. Alibaba users also pre-ordered 100 million yuan ($14 million) worth of Apple‘s iPhone 11s. In the first minute, sales hit $1 billion and reached 84 billion yuan (about $14 billion) in the first hour.
Last year, Alibaba gained $30 billion on its platforms during the festival. This year, this amount is expected to be increased. The retailing giant believes that over 500 million users will take part in the shopping event this year, about 100 million more than last year.
What Is Singles’ Day?
Singles’ Day (or “Double Eleven”) is a Chinese commercial holiday that has become almost four-times larger than Cyber Monday, the biggest shopping day in the U.S. calendar. Celebrated on the 11th of November, it is believed to have been started by bachelor students in the 1990s, the idea was to buy themselves presents to celebrate being single. Since 2009, Singles Day has been promoted by Alibaba as a shopping frenzy. Besides, it is a great breadwinner. At $30.7 billion, 2018 was far and away Alibaba’s best Singles Day revenue benchmark.
Although Alibaba was the first to link Singles’ Day to consumerism, other companies have also jumped on the bandwagon, with JD.com Inc, Vipshop Holdings Ltd, and Amazon.com Inc also offering promotions and benefiting from the event. For example, JD.com earned $19 billion for its multi-day holiday shopping festival in 2017 and Taobao, a China-based shopping mall, earned $3 billion on Singles Day in 2012.
It is notable that this year, Alibaba’s growth is under pressure resulting from China’s slowing economy and the trade war with the United States. However, the retailers in China hope it will not prevent them from gaining profits.
Ella Ji, an analyst at China Renaissance Holdings Ltd., said:
“Overall, we think this year will likely see a more competitive Double 11 period. We anticipate each platform will spend more on subsidies.”
As Citic Securities estimates, Singles’ Day sales will grow 20-25% this year.