China to celebrate Singles' Day with whopping shopping spree

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This year, 140,000 different merchants took part in the event, including many global brands like Tampax and Asos.

This year, the company saw consumers spending 10 billion yuan (US$1.5 billion) in 3 minutes after the 24-hour shopping spree kicked off on November 11, 2017, compared with 10 billion yuan in 6 minutes of Singles' Day last year.

China's smartphone-wielding masses unleashed billions of dollars in e-commerce spending Saturday as they rushed to snap up bargains on "Singles Day".

That blew well past the $17.8 billion logged over the full 24 hours last year, which itself marked a 32 percent year-on-year increase.

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Even when putting together all the biggest USA shopping holidays, Black Friday, Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday, and Amazon's Prime Day-sales from Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba's Singles' Day still come on top, according to data compiled by Fung Global Retail & Tech.

The event has been adopted by Alibaba rivals such as JD.com, with merchants engaging in a cut-throat battle to slash prices and move goods.

More than half of China's 1.3 billion people use smartphones, which have become central to daily life, used for messaging, shopping, news and entertainment, ordering taxis and meals, and serving as digital wallets for a range of point-of-sale purchases.

Alibaba's payments affiliate, Alipay, processed $17.8 billion of transactions on November 11 previous year. The day began innocently enough in 1993 at Nanjing University as a day to revel in singledom, according to Forbes; Alibaba's online shopping festival for the event began in 2009 as a self-affirming excuse to buy a lot online with the knowledge you're sticking it in the face of the retailers who cater to couples on Valentine's Day, but now it's become the showground for Alibaba's blossoming rivalry with Amazon.

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Alibaba and JD stock have both doubled this year as revenues surged.

Alibaba Day, known as the "11.11 Global Shopping Festival", is the largest e-commerce day in the world, driven by the main Alibaba platform, Tmall.

"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. Last year, there were 98,000.

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