Alibaba Singles' Day smashes US$25 billion sales record

Alibaba Singles' Day smashes US$25 billion sales record

Media captionAlibaba Singles Day: Dollars or data?

Singles' Day is the world's biggest online sales event and previous year netted Alibaba 168 billion yuan (US$24.15 billion) in total sales.

This is also likely to be Alibaba's last November sale event with founder and chairman Jack Ma at its helm.

This is 21 per cent higher than the 57 billion yuan that the Alibaba Singles' Day sale brought in its early phase past year.

Indeed, Alibaba slashed the price of its Tmall Genie speaker from RMB499 ($74) to RMB99 ($15) during Singles' Day 2017 to drive sales.

Alibaba kicked off this year's sales with a gala event that featured USA singer Mariah Carey, a Japanese Beyonce impersonator and a shoe-shopping-themed Cirque du Soleil performance.

Now in its 10th year, the clamor for deals and discounts known as Singles Day was heralded with characteristic fanfare by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, which has turned an unofficial holiday for people without romantic partners into a yearly windfall for digital retailers.

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The 24-hour event held annually on November 11 recorded the purchases of products worth $10 billion in the period of little over an hour.

Will Singles Day keep on growing? "It's when retailers use the best products and best prices to show their gratitude to our consumers". The current chief executive will take over as schairman next year, Alibaba announced in September. Billionaire co-founder Jack Ma has been a vocal opponent of the tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of USA and Chinese goods, calling the trade war "the most stupid thing in this world".

Chinese e-commerce platforms have come under fire in the past for peddling low-quality and counterfeit items.

The day, chosen for the collection of ones in its name, started out as a kind of "anti-Valentine's Day" where China's lonely hearts revel in their singlehood.

The occasion also has big environmental implications.

Greenpeace estimated that by 2020, "biodegradable" packaging could produce roughly 721 truckloads of trash in China every day.

While sales growth remains steady, Alibaba's stock has dropped 16% this year amid economic uncertainties linked to brewing trade tensions between China and the United States.

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