Alibaba crushes sales record during Singles' Day

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Beyond those factors, it's clear that mobile continues to be a massive force on Singles Day in a way that hasn't been replicated during any other shopping day, in any country. More than three-quarters of a billion people visited Alibaba platforms and had access to more than 60,000 global brands and over a million individual retailers.

Citigroup Inc. has predicted transactions will rise by more than 30 percent to 158 billion yuan this year. "Single's Day is Olympic Games for Chinese merchants".

This figure was corroborated by ecommerce platform monitor Criteo, which said about 75 percent of transactions went through mobiles, with most of those in apps.

Once a celebration for China's lonely hearts, Singles' Day has become an annual 24-hour buying frenzy that exceeds the combined sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States, and acts as a barometer for China's consumers. "We could take the gala overseas very soon", Zhang said. FashionUnited shares some key statistics from Singles' Day 2017 below.

Alibaba has been celebrating the occasion since 2009 by giving wonderful and steep discounts to a wide variety of products sold on its platform, Tmall.

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At Alibaba's Friday night gala, the company's co-founder and chairman, Jack Ma, hosted guests including the actress Nicole Kidman, singer Pharrell Williams and Chinese musicians and film stars such as Zhang Ziyi and Fan Bingbing. "Shopping is entertainment nowadays", Palmer said.

To that end, Alibaba teams fanned out across the nation before the event to help outlets - some 600,000 mom-and-pop convenient stores and about 1,000 brands - upgrade their computer systems. China has 731 million internet users, up 6 per cent from 2016, according to government statistics. That total was reached in just 13 hours this year.

"I still remember growing up in communist China in the 1970s, when my mother and neighbours would use their ration tickets to buy meat at a state-run store", writes Cindy Sui, a Taiwan-based BBC correspondent who has lived and worked in China for many years. They can also get goods delivered to their home.

Alibaba said more than 140,000 brand and merchants participated, its payments platform, Alipay, processed 1.48 billion transactions and its logistics provider Cainiao Network processed 812 million total delivery orders.

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