Alibaba broke sales records in the world’s largest one-day shopping event.
Alibaba is known for breaking sales records during Singles Day, its annual 24-hour e-commerce shopping event. And this year is no exception, with the company surpassing its previous record of more than $30 billion.
This event comes at a time when the Chinese economy is starting to slow down, and trade war tensions still exist between the U.S. and China. Let’s look at what happened during the sale, and what this means for the Chinese economy going forward.
What is Singles Day?
Most American consumers are familiar with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or even Prime Day. But these three retail events actually pale in comparison to China’s Singles Day, the world’s biggest shopping event.
The Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba created the retail event in 2009. It takes place every year on Nov. 11, begins at midnight across Singapore and Hong Kong, and lasts for 24 hours.
As of yet, not many U.S. retailers participate in Singles Day. But that may be a mistake, since the one-day event earns more than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.
In 2018, Black Friday brought in $6.2 billion in sales, and Cyber Monday brought in $7.9 billion. But Singles Day 2018 brought in a record of more than $30 billion.
And this year, the event’s sales surpassed $13 billion within the first hour. After an hour and a half, the event brought in more money than it earned in 2016.
What does this mean for the Chinese economy?
This blowout sale comes at a time when the Chinese economy is starting to slow down. Alibaba is also facing stronger competition from rivals like JD.com and Pinduoduo. However, neither factor seemed to hinder the company during this annual event.
Many U.S. companies don’t participate in Singles Day, but some do, like Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Apple. In spite of ongoing trade war tensions, it doesn’t appear that Chinese consumers snubbed any U.S. companies.
We can expect to see the final Singles Day numbers shortly after the event ends. These figures could have a substantial impact on both Alibaba and smaller companies that use its platforms.