11/11 Sin­gles Day sales break records

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By MENG JING in Beijing and ZHAO HUANXIN in Nan­jing, Jiangsu

China’s e-commerce in­dus­try set an­other jaw-drop­ping sales record on Sin­gles Day, the world’s big­gest on­line shop­ping event, with Alibaba re­port­ing that about $14.33 bil­lion was spent in 24 hours on Wed­nes­day.

The e-commerce gi­ant, which ac­counts for 8 per­cent of China’s to­tal re­tail vol­ume, said its sales to­tal on Wed­nes­day was a 50 per­cent jump from the 57.1 bil­lion yuan in trans­ac­tions it gen­er­ated last year.

Sun­ing Commerce Group, an on­line-to-off­line re­tail­ing com­pany with head­quar­ters in Nan­jing, Jiangsu prov­ince, also said its turnover tripled on Sin­gles Day.

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

By 6 pm, cus­tomers also had or­dered 220,000 Xiaomi smart­phones, 380,000 boxes of Durex con­doms and nearly the same num­ber of mo­bile power charg­ers, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment from the Sun­ing Group.

Jack Ma, ex­ec­u­tive chair­man of Alibaba, said on Wed­nes­day that 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.

“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,” he said.

China’s re­tail sales climbed 11 per­cent year-on-year in Oc­to­ber, the fastest gain this year, over­com­ing a slow­ing econ­omy. With China’s econ­omy en­ter­ing the phase of a new nor­mal, consumption is seen by China’s lead­ers as an in­creas­ingly im­por­tant pow­er­house to drive growth.

The fren­zied on­line buy­ing has sent shiv­ers through China’s thou­sands of malls and depart­ment stores. On Nov 4, Commerce Min­istry spokesman Shen Danyang said re­tail stores faced in­creas­ing pres­sure from the boom­ing on­line shop­ping sec­tor, with some stores clos­ing or can­cel­ing their leases.

By the end of June, nine ma­jor re­tail­ers, in­clud­ing Dalian Wanda, Park­son and Marks & Spencer shut down at least 25 stores, Xin­hua News Agency re­ported on Wed­nes­day.

Con­tact the writ­ers through zhao­huanxin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

WEI XIAOHAO / CHINA DAILY

Jack Ma, ex­ec­u­tive chair­man of Alibaba, and Tom Far­ley, pres­i­dent of the NYSE, help ring bells to open the ex­change on Wed­nes­day.

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