‘Singles Day’ China shopping festival smashes record at the halfway mark CNBC - 2 years ago
  • After a star-studded event in Shanghai late Friday to ring in the event, which is held each year on Nov. 11, the volume of goods sold on Alibaba’s platforms raced past a billion dollars in two minutes and hit $10 billion in just over an hour.
  • At just past the halfway mark, the gross merchandise value swept past last year’s dollar total of $17.7 billion. Shortly afterward, sales surpassed 120.7 billion yuan, the total in 2016 in the local currency, which has appreciated against the dollar in the past year.
  • “This is a big event for China, for the Chinese economy,” Joseph Tsai, Ali Baba’s co-founder and vice chairman, said ahead of the sales bonanza. “On Singles’ Day, shopping is a sport, it’s entertainment.”
  • The excitement around the shopping blitz, however, masks the challenges facing China’s online retailers such as Alibaba and JD.com, which are having to spend more to compete for shoppers in a broader economy where growth is slowing.