Alibaba logged 213.5 billion yuan ($30.8 billion) in sales for its annual Singles’ Day extravaganza, setting a record as shoppers swarmed the e-commerce giant’s online bazaars.
China’s largest company, which used a concurrent televised entertainment spectacle featuring Cirque du Soleil and Mariah Carey to further drum up business, reported that Xiaomi, Apple, and Dyson products were the top three brands in early sales.
The annual retail celebration, originally dedicated to the nation’s unattached, has become an important bellwether not just for the company, but also the country. This year’s November 11 gala offers a glimpse of consumer sentiment in China as US tensions and a tit-for-tat tariff war depress stock markets and threaten to dampen the world’s No. 2 economy.
“We can feel that merchants are fully embracing the internet and helping with consumption upgrade,” Daniel Zhang , Alibaba CEO told reporters in Shanghai.
The challenge for billionaire Jack Ma and Zhang, his lieutenant, was to notch another record after a scorching decade-long run. With a cooling economy, saturated markets and competition from smaller platforms such as JD.com and Pinduoduo, Alibaba is seeking new growth engines. “Alibaba is making use of all of its platforms to make Singles’ Day a holiday that also includes dining and entertainment,” Jet Jing, president of Tmall, one of the company’s main sites, said at the Singles’ Day event.