Alibaba creates a new record in online sales; makes $14 billion on Singles Day

Beijing: China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba on Thursday created a new record in online sales netting $14.33 billion on the annual Singles Day, the world’s biggest online shopping day, with shoppers splurging on a variety of products despite the world’s second biggest economy experiencing its worst slowdown since 2009.

Alibaba, which accounts for eight per cent of China’s total retail volume, said its total sales yesterday far exceeded the 57.1 billion yuan ($10 billion) transactions it generated last year.

Besides Alibaba, a host of other online retail outlets including the, Suning Commerce Group, reported massive sale on the Singles Day yesterday, an online buying fiesta akin to America’s Cyber Monday.

It is on this part of the year, Chinese purchase all households goods offered at the cheapest possible prices.

The army of Internet shoppers had ordered 37,000 health products from the US within 11 hours of the start of Singles Day, said Sun Weimin, vice-chairman of Suning.

By 6 pm, customers also had ordered 2.20 lakh Xiaomi smartphones, 3.80 lakh boxes of Durex condoms and nearly the same number of mobile power chargers, said Suning group.

Jack Ma, executive chairman of Alibaba, said the Singles Day represents only a small part of the huge potential for domestic demand in China.

Hundreds of thousands of businesses benefit from Singles Day not only Internet companies, but also other companies that produce quality products, he said.

“China has a middle-class population of 300 million. We believe there will be 500 million within the next 15 years, which would bring huge demand for high-quality products, therefore boosting economic growth,” Ma said.

The online sales continued to be success despite a recent official report submitted to the Chinese lawmakers saying only 58.7% of items in online trade were genuine, while the remaining 40% were shoddy or counterfeit.

E-commerce has become a success in China as it overtook the US as the world largest online retail market with $442 billion compared to US’ nearly $300 billion last year.