HANGZHOU, China, Nov 11 (Reuters) - Chinese e-commerce giant
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd said orders made
during its Singles' Day mega-shopping festival had exceeded $56
billion by Wednesday morning, as consumers sought to cash in on
a deluge of discounts.
This year's shopping extravaganza comes a week after Alibaba
lost almost $76 billion of its market value following China's
suspension of the $37 billion listing of Ant Group, the
financial technology firm Alibaba owns a third of.
It also takes place as China experiences an economic rebound
after getting the spread of the novel coronavirus under control
within its borders, following the virus' emergence in the
central city of Wuhan late last year.
Alibaba launched the annual online blitz early this year,
with two primary discount periods taking place from Nov. 1
through Nov. 3 and again on Nov. 11.
The company will calculate gross merchandise volume (GMV)
over the full 11-day period, as opposed to the usual 24 hours.
As of 12:30 a.m. local time (1630 GMT) on Nov. 11, the
campaign's GMV had surpassed 372.3 billion yuan ($56.3 billion)
with the order rate hitting a record peak of 583,000 per second,
Alibaba has said it will introduce more than 2 million new
products, double last year's amount. Other companies such as
Douyin - the Chinese version of Beijing ByteDance Technology Co
Ltd's TikTok - JD.com Inc and Pinduoduo Inc
are also holding their own Singles Day shopping events.
JD.com, which started its shopping promotions on Nov. 1,
said it recorded 200 billion yuan worth of sales by nine minutes
after midnight on Wednesday, while electronics retailer
Suning.com Co Ltd - part-owned by Alibaba - said it
made 5 billion yuan in sales in the first 19 minutes of the day.
Analysts expect this year to be a boon for luxury brands, as
Chinese consumers accustomed to going overseas to buy high-end
goods are now stuck at home due to coronavirus border closures.
Andy Halliwell, retail analyst at digital consultancy
Publicis Sapient, in a client note said, "The lack of consumer
tourism which has hit European and U.S. stalwarts like Harrods,
Galeries Lafayette and Nordstroms will likely see bigger
On China's Twitter-like Weibo, discussions around Singles
Day trended while a poll by Sina Entertainment, which garnered
174,000 respondents, found 76,000 people aimed to spend less
than 1,000 yuan while only 7,341 planned to dole out more than
Alibaba first launched the shopping event in 2009 and has
made it the world's biggest online sales festival, eclipsing
Cyber Monday in the United States. Last year, it recorded $38.4
billion in GMV on the day.
Pop star Katy Perry made an appearance at the company's gala
for the first time late on Tuesday, albeit via livestream, as
travel restrictions on outside visitors remain in place in
($1 = 6.6146 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Josh Horwitz in Hangzhou; Additional Reporting by
Sophie Yu in Beijing; Editing by Edwina Gibbs and Christopher