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China to celebrate Singles' Day with whopping shopping spree
12 November 2017, 12:52 | Vera Richards
The Singles Day Sales start tomorrow
Past year the shopping holiday drove $18 billion worth of retail sales for participating sellers, a pop-up luxury hub, Double 11 Musée, will appear online and in the Tmall app for high-end brands.
This year, 140,000 different merchants took part in the event, including many worldwide brands like Tampax and Asos. But, it was transformed into a shopping event akin to America's Black Friday by e-commerce giant Alibaba in 2011.
More than 90 percent of Alipay orders were placed via mobile, the majority on Alibaba's main e-commerce platform Taobao.com.
Alibaba said that five minutes after midnight Alipay was processing 2,56,000 payment transactions per second, doubling last year's high-water mark. Cyber Monday sales clocked in at $3.5 billion-resulting in total sales of about $8.7 billion as consumers prepared for the gift-giving holiday season.
Double 11's transaction volume is pumped up by many Chinese holding off on purchases of everyday items like rice and toilet paper to take advantage of the price-slashing.
E-commerce's huge growth in China has put New York-listed Alibaba neck-and-neck with Amazon as the world's most valuable e-commerce company, while also making Nasdaq-listed JD.com a Fortune 500 company.
Alibaba is investing heavily in creating an entire user ecosystem encompassing cloud computing, artificial intelligence, automated stores using face-recognition, and is pushing into overseas markets under much-travelled boss Jack Ma, one of China's richest men. Last year, there were 98,000.
"This year, a series of live entertainment events including Tmall's See Now Buy Now Fashion Show along with other live streaming and interactive activities will bring together millions of people around the world to jointly celebrate a global shopping festival of the year".
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In China, Alibaba's main rival, online retailer JD.com, said sales had topped $16.7 billion - though the tallies are not comparable because JD tracks transactions starting from November 1 through to the actual day.
"China wants to evolve from an export and investment driven economy to a consumption driven economy", said Joseph C.Tsai, Executive Vice Chairman of the Alibaba Group.
"It could end up dominating e-commerce in developing countries".
It is a reminder for Malaysians of the recently-launched Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ) in Sepang, Selangor, one that is touted to achieve similar success to Alibaba and 11.11, but with Malaysian small-medium enterprises (SMEs).
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