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Malaysians gear up for Alibaba's Singles Day shopping frenzy

12 November, 2017, 00:52 | Author: Samuel Sharp
  • Singles Day

In 2016, the volume was achieved in six minutes and 58 seconds, according to Alibaba, owner of TMall.

As tills shut at midnight yesterday, Alibaba's live sales ticker registered 168.3 billion yuan or US$25.4 billion, up 39 per cent from 120.7 billion yuan past year - more than double the 2016 gross domestic product of Brunei (US$11.4 billion).

More than half of China's 1.3 billion people are said to use smartphones and the devices 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.

The 2016 11.11 Global Shopping Event was generating $17.79 billion in sales.

Pharrell Williams, British pop singer-songwriter Jessie J, tennis superstar Maria Sharapova and Real Madrid icon Luis Figo attended this year's 11.11 Countdown Gala Celebration.

More than 90 percent of Alipay orders were placed via mobile, the majority on Alibaba's main e-commerce platform Taobao.com.


Alibaba rivals such as JD.com also reported brisk business. The day of shopping brings in more sales than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined in the US.

The massive, promotion-driven shopping event in China that drives the biggest one-day online sales in the world, is not the natural setting for high-end luxury brands - so e-commerce marketplace Alibaba made a place for them.

But environmentalists complain of ecological harm, accusing Alibaba and other e-commerce companies of fuelling a culture of excessive over-consumption and mountains of waste. It's not just an event for those in China anymore, Singles Day is global.

Greenpeace said "Singles Day" deliveries a year ago created 130,000 tonnes of packaging waste - less than 10 percent of which is recycled.

Alibaba's 11.11 has grown beyond an annual online shopping bonanza to become a key driving force in transforming the lifestyle of Chinese consumers today through modern technologies. Quirkier items meant to nail in on the joke about the nature of Singles' Day were heavily promoted, such as a one time payment of 11,111 yuans (roughly $1,672 USD) for a lifetime supply of baiju liquor.

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