HANGZHOU, China — Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has clocked in $9.3 billion in sales for its annual Singles’ Day shopping event, a figure that is nearly double the sales made on the company’s e-tailing platforms during the 2013 holiday, which falls on Nov. 11 and is meant to be a celebration for singletons yet has turned into a major online shopping binge for millions of mainland consumers.
This is the sixth year Alibaba has held its Singles’ Day online shopping campaign, during which retailers offer deep discounts and other promotions on Tmall.com, the company’s business-to-consumer platform, and Taobao.com, its consumer-to-consumer platform.
Within the first hour of this year’s Singles’ Day, the value of merchandise sold reached $2 billion. As of 11:30 p.m. local time, more than 270 million logistics orders had been placed.
Jack Ma, executive chairman and founder of Alibaba, said during an appearance in front of hundreds of journalists reporting on the shopping bonanza from company offices in Hangzhou, a city near Shanghai, that there are ambitions to make Singles’ Day a worldwide online shopping event. He also said that in China the company is pursuing a strategy of developing stronger e-commerce sales in Chinese rural areas, in particular poorer villages, spurring domestic consumption in China and helping small-and medium-sized enterprises around the world find new business opportunities through e-commerce.
“This is only the beginning,” Ma said, standing in front of a giant LCD screen that had been broadcasting sales figures since since the holiday began nearly 24 hours ago. “Today people have high expectations of us, but we only have a 15-year history. We are still young. The industry is still young.”