Once a celebration for China's lonely hearts, Singles' Day has become a 24-hour extravaganza that outsells Black Friday and Cyber Monday U.S. sales combined, and acts as a barometer for China's consumers.
After a star-studded event in Shanghai late on Friday counted down to the sale's midnight start, Alibaba said gross merchandise volume (GMV) topped 10 billion yuan in a little over three minutes, and had almost doubled, to 19.1 billion yuan, in under six minutes - beating the entire day's sales in 2012.
Alibaba alone saw $17.7 billion of goods sold on its platform at last year's Singles' Day.
The event gets shoppers around China scouting for bargains and loading up their online shopping carts, while delivery men - and robots - are braced for an estimated 1.5 billion parcels expected over the next six days.
"This is a big event for China, for the Chinese economy," co-founder and Alibaba vice chairman Joseph Tsai said ahead of the sales bonanza. "On Singles' Day, shopping is a sport, it's entertainment."
Tsai said rising disposable incomes of China's "over 300 million middle-class consumers" was helping drive the firm's online sales - and would continue. "This powerful group is propelling the consumption of China," he said.
Analysts and investors will closely watch the headline sales number, which is likely to top last year's total. Spending rose by nearly a third at 2016's sale - the eighth iteration of the event - but that was slower than the 60 percent increase logged in 2015.
At Alibaba's Friday night gala, co-founder and chairman Jack Ma hosted guests including actress Nicole Kidman, singer Pharrell Williams and Chinese musicians and film stars such as Zhang Ziyi and Fan Bingbing.
在阿里巴巴的周五晚间晚会上，联合创始人兼董事长马云(Jack Ma)接待了包括女演员妮可•基德曼(Nicole Kidman)、歌手法瑞尔•威廉姆斯(Pharrell Williams)、章子怡和范冰冰等明星嘉宾。
The excitement around the shopping blitz, however, masks the challenges facing China's online retailers such as Alibaba and JD.com Inc (JD.O), which are having to spend more to compete for shoppers in a broader economy where growth is slowing.
然而，围绕着购物闪电战的狂热情绪，掩盖了中国在线零售商阿里巴巴(Alibaba)和京东(JD.com Inc .)面临的挑战。在中国经济增长放缓的大环境下，阿里巴巴(Alibaba)和京东(JD.com Inc .)不得不加大投资，以争夺消费者。
"A lot of the lower hanging fruit has been picked and there's increased competition for a share of consumer spending," said Matthew Crabbe, Asia Pacific research director at Mintel.
He estimated Alibaba's Singles' Day sales growth would likely slow to around 20 percent. Online retailers were being forced to push offline as well as overseas to attract new shoppers, and the overall online retail market was close to "saturation".
"They're having to spill over out of the purely online realm into the wider consumer market," Crabbe said.
This has sparked deals to buy bricks-and-mortar stores in China, and overseas tie-ups especially in Southeast Asia. Technology, too, has been key, with virtual reality dressing rooms and live fashion shows to attract shoppers to haute couture.
Ben Cavender, Shanghai-based principal at China Market Research Group, noted that brands were being more careful with the deals they have on offer this year to avoid "margins getting killed", and were often asking for deposits in advance.
中国市场研究集团(China Market Research Group)驻上海的负责人本•卡维德(Ben Cavender)指出，各大品牌在今年的交易中表现得更为谨慎，以避免“利润率被扼杀”。
In previous years, most prices were often halved.
"I think prices seem high and I'm totally lost as to the rules (about discounts)," said Gao Wantong, 21, a student in Beijing, though he said he still planned to stay up late to grab early sales.
Fu Wenyue, a 23-year-old dresser in Shanghai, said she had already spent around 4,000 yuan ($600) on clothes, cosmetics and kitchen utensils in pre-event sales, transactions ahead of the day which officially only go through once midnight strikes.
"I've bought some stuff already, but I haven't finished shopping yet," she said.
($1 = 6.6386 Chinese yuan renminbi)
Jesus is our Savior17 hours ago
There is a reason all large corporations are focusing on the Chinese market, instead of the US market, and tailor their products for the Chinese taste. Our market has become more and more irrelevant.
our great corporations sold out the american middle class by shipping jobs to chinas manufacturing base, which is the heart of their new middle class. american citizens are to blame as well by buying into the low prices of chinese and other foreign manufacturers. This same movement of the manufacturing base will occur to china as well. the middle class needs to watch out for ourselves, and not buy into corporations are our friends and will add jobs if we give them lower rates/taxes. Why does the middle class have to fund its own jobs? The tax deductions for corporations will not add jobs. instead of a tax deduction, we should give the corporations a tax credit after they verify the number of jobs added.
I know this is being spun as a positive event, but there is nothing positive about mass consumerism in an overpopulated world in which resources are dwindling fast.
BABA to $300 by 1/18
Chinese knows how to create hype.
That's a creative way of looking at it. The US has 1/3rd the population of China.
Cool, Adam! You now have our permission to spend your month's salary on this.
No major feat for a nation of 1.5 billion people. If half of the population spends just $2.00 online, you'll get $1.5 billion. EZ math, you see?
One of the BEST SNAKE OIL SALESMEN!!!
Did ANYONE REALLY watch what was going on !!! IT was ALL REALLY a JUST A SHOW!!!! THERE IS NO REASON to believe ANY of the NUMBERS you saw in the background. China has LIED AND CONTINUOUSLY REVISED GDP, they have MORE DEBT THAN THE U.S.(yes, that is correct). They have MANY FAKE AND EMPTY, cities(you can find that ANYWHERE on youtube), I have bee there MANY TIMES on business and the POLLUTION is SO out of control MANY days you can't go outside( much worse than the U.S., but better than India). THE LARGE MAJORITY of Chinese DO NOT HAVE much DISPOSABLE income(They are good savers,what you see on TV an the internet is the %1 Wealthy!!)
Nothing but a POOR Vegas Show , so Ma can get Alibaba's shares pumped up THEN DUMP them!!
有没有人真的注意到发生了什么! !!这真的只是一个表演! !!!没有理由相信你在这里看到的任何数字。中国一直在说谎，不断修订GDP，他们的债务比美国还多(是的,这是真的)；他们有很多鬼城(你可以在youtube上的任何地方找到)；污染已经失控，你都不能出门，(比美国更糟糕，但比印度好）。绝大多数中国人没有多少可支配收入。
The heart of the matter is the matter of the heart. Yahweh(God) will hold each of us accountable for what we know concerning His Truth. Some people may appear to be more sinful(e.g. lie, steal, murder, unforgiveness, etc.) than others, but we are all born with a rebellious nature towards Yahweh and should not compare ourselves among ourselves concerning sin. We tend to compare ourselves morally to those we view as below us, yet materially we compare ourselves to those we view as above us. Romans 3:23 states: "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of Yahweh." Yeshua(Jesus) teaches that just desiring in your heart to commit sin is against Yahweh's Torah(Teaching), which emphasizes "The Ten Commandments". The Bible warns in Revelation 20:11-15 that if you reject Yahweh's plan of salvation you will not enter into His Kingdom. That's not Yahweh's desire. 2 Peter 3:9 states: "The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." He sent His Son Yeshua Who lived a sinless life and willingly suffered and died on the cross for you. You broke Yahweh's Torah, but Yeshua paid your fine. That means He can legally dismiss your case. He can commute your "second death" sentence---the lake of fire. In John 3:16-17 Yeshua says, "For Yahweh so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For Yahweh did not send His Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it." Then He rose from the dead and defeated death. Please repent (turn from sin) today and trust alone in Yeshua, and Yahweh will grant you the gift of everlasting life. Then read the Bible daily and obey it. In Revelation 21:4 Yahweh promises His people that in His Kingdom "there will be no more death, mourning, crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." There is nothing more important than your eternal salvation!
在约翰福音3：16-17中，耶稣说：“ 神爱世人、甚至将他的独生子赐给他们、叫一切信他的、不至灭亡、反得永生。因为 神差他的儿子降世、不是要定世人的罪、〔或作审判世人下同〕乃是要叫世人因他得救。“然后他从死里复活，击败了死亡。
Well, - Alibaba is a legit company, as well as many other Chinese companies - BUT be careful of the ones you've never heard of.
My wife bought a Michael Kors handbag for 70% off (do you hear any bells and whistles going off???).
The next morning I had e-mail and v-mails from Citibank telling me that they've locked my card - and to call them to talk about it. There were about 50 different firms asking for payments for stuff that we bought. The good news is that we didn't have to pay for any of the charges. The bad news that I had to cut up my CB credit card that I had for 40 years - and knew the account number from memory. ;-(
Blame obama! He sat on the sideline for 8 years, and did nothing. Our middle class is declining, theirs is booming. Do the math
"Tsai said rising disposable incomes of China's "over 300 million middle-class consumers" was helping drive the firm's online sales - and would continue."
Ah yes, they really really need us to buy their stuff don't they?
Just wait until the day they let the Yuan rise and start to really accelerate their consumer class. On that day the US economy dies and no one will care.
I would not trust numbers coming out of a Chinese company.
Wow, the US economy must be doing unbelievably great as well.
Everyone is surely prospering and faithfully participating in the 'recovery'.
Just guessing, but Nicole Kidman does not look Chinese to me. Although, it's difficult to tell WHAT she actually does look like, with all the fake #$%$ in her hair and on her face. What a life: a professional phony. What price ones soul.
I have bigly words that I know.
I like the name, singles day, fun and upbeat compared to BLACK Friday
More consumerist socialism by the Godless Chinese
The dragon is out of the box.
Jack Ma has said that it's not that other countries steal jobs from you guys," "It's your strategy. You did not distribute the money and things in a proper way." The truth isn't always easy to accept. Use your preferred search engine and search "The U.S. Wasted $14 Trillion on Wars Over the Past 30 Years."
BS, why did they list on the US exchange if it's that great over there?
Wow, this ET
BABA knows how to please the wall street.
A. D. Monroe
He looks like a Starchild!