POLITICALIFE: Chinese Splash $35 Billion On Singles Day

Alibaba Singles’ Day 2018 All You Need to Know and How to Shop From India

Last year, the Alibaba Group reported $25.3 billion of orders.

Alibaba's new retail is in the vein of Amazon's ($AMZN) AmazonGo cashier-less markets ー but on steroids.

The Chinese event was originally a novelty student holiday to celebrate being single, countering Valentines Day, but has since grown into a month-long online shopping festival that peaks with a 24-hour sale on 11 November.

"People are swept up in the festivities", Professor Hong said in a phone interview.

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Consumers took less than two hours to rack up 100 billion yuan in purchases after the festival began at midnight, a milestone that took seven more hours to achieve past year.

The Twitter-like Weibo platform was blanketed with Singles Day-related posts on Sunday, from users proudly proclaiming they had resisted the shopping urge this year to those who cheerfully listed an array of mundane purchases.

While both Alibaba and competitor JD.com have pledged to use biodegradable packaging to cut down on waste, research conducted this month by Greenpeace East Asia said many plastics marked "biodegradable" and used by Chinese e-retailers can only break down under high temperatures in facilities that are limited in number across the country.

Although it's been three years since Ma said he wants to make Singles' Day a global shopping event, that hasn't happened yet. The current chief executive will take over as schairman next year, Alibaba announced in September.

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Still, there's some uncertainty this year, due to a slowing economy, real estate deflation and trade tensions with the US that could impact on Chinese consumption.

Within half an hour of Singles' Day, 30 brands, including Nike, Uniqlo, Adidas, Procter & Gamble, Xiaomi and Apple had crossed 100 million yuan in sales. Consumers spent a total of 168.5 billion yuan ($24.3 billion) by the afternoon, the report said.

Although retail sales in China have been steady, the outlook is uncertain as the economy slows and concerns rise over the impact of the trade war with the United States. Global expansion will be a key plank of Zhang's effort to keep breaking records. It discarded a pledge to create a million jobs in the country, lost its top USA dealmaker and jettisoned plans for affiliate Alipay to acquire MoneyGram. President Donald Trump said in mid-October he plans to withdraw the US from a 192-nation treaty that gives Chinese companies discounted shipping rates for small packages sent to American consumers, making it harder for Chinese merchants to push into the market.

Southeast Asia will give the clearest indication of Alibaba's ability to go global. This compares with 140,000 brands last year and just 27 merchants in its first year.

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The slump in China's advertising sector is also hurting Alibaba.

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