China’s Singles’ Day, the country’s biggest shopping blitz created by e-commerce giant Alibaba, hit another record on Nov. 11, selling goods worth 84 billion yuan ($12 billion) in the first hour, jumping 22 percent from the same period a year ago.
In the first 10 hours, it sold goods amounting to 168.2 billion yuan, exceeding the total sales volume in 2017. As of 3:10 pm, the sales reached more than 205 billion yuan.
This year’s shopping event, also known as Double Eleven, is the first one after Alibaba founder Jack Ma Yun stepped down as chairman in September. It is also happening in the midst of the trade war between the two largest economies -- China and the US.
While it shows a double-digit growth in sales with more than 500 million users -- about 100 million more -- to participate it is also expected to be the slowest in line with an overall slowdown in China’s e-commerce market.
In 2018, the Hangzhou-based firm saw sales worth $30 billion during the 24 hours on Nov. 11 on its platform, growing 27 percent from a year ago, while the US logged $7.9 billion online sales on Cyber Monday.
The 27 percent growth was still impressive but it was the slowest in the 10-year history of Alibaba’s shopping fest and analysts expect this year’s sales to rise between 20-25 percent.
Alibaba has promoted Nov. 11 as a shopping festival since 2009 and it has become an important day for international and Chinese brands.
South Korea was ranked the third-largest country selling most gross merchandise volume to China during the shopping event, following Japan and the US.
“Singles’ Day sales are a good indicator for Korean cosmetics brands to gauge their market status and future prospects,” said Park Jong-dae, an analyst with Hana Financial Investment.
By Park Ga-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)