On Tuesday, the Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, an electronic-commerce giant reported its 9-billion-dollar Singles’ Day sales in China, indicating the Chinese consumers’ buying power as well as the significance of the said event throughout the merchandising calendar.
The company’s 35 billion yuan sales record of 2013 was surpassed, recording 57.1 billion yuan or 9.3 billion dollars this year. This was achieved the midnight after the Chinese consumers, including foreign shoppers purchased heavily on discounted products online.
The Single’s Day event in China is almost similar to the United States’ Black Friday and Cyber Monday events, and is considered as the Chinese Valentine’s Day, although in 2009 it was converted into an online shopping event.
Jack Ma, founder and CEO of Alibaba, said that Alipay, the company’s financial services unit will likewise go public in China, while feeling a bit anxious about higher expectations and pressures since Alibaba is now a listed company. The company’s executive vice chairman, Joe Tsai, also emphasized the unleashed consumption power of Chinese consumers.
The current sales were helped by what they call the “pre-sales initiative” wherein merchants advertise their prices as soon as October 15, charging deposits for pre-sold items, however, the processing of full payments as well as shipping are done during the event itself.
Some of the 27,000 merchants have had complains about discounts from corporate rivalries, undercutting their benefits such as the Suning Commerce Group, JD.com Inc., and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. However, Tsai was optimistic of the company’s current position, saying that no other company can create another Single’s Day event as it has become global and reached overseas shoppers in over 200 countries.