Brands cash in on Alibaba's big day

Compare that to the $3.34 billion in sales USA retailers generated on Black Friday a year ago.

Audio will be available later today. This year saw customers spend about 40% more on Alibaba than last year, and 2016's sales figure was reached in just 13 hours with $1bn spent in the first two minutes after midnight.

The date of November 11 emerged as a counter-cultural antidote to the sentimentality of Valentine's Day.

There were more than 140,000 brands and merchants participating in Singles Day, up from 100,000 in 2016, with 80,000 of them from outside China.

Other e-commerce companies also cut prices, but the event is closely associated with Alibaba.

Squali notes, "Strong Chinese consumer buying, 4x growth in global brands, strength in cross border trade, rise of New Retail and ubiquity of mobile drove this outsized performance, and bode well for the company's December quarter".

China's second-largest e-commerce company JD.com (NASDAQ: JD) on Monday reported better-than-expected financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2017, sending the stock up over 5 percent.

And the sales story this year spilled into the tens of billions of dollars.

But like Amazon in the U.S., Alibaba has a strategy to integrate online shopping with brick-and-mortar stores, which still make up 85% of total retail sales, according to the company.

On Saturday, Chinese shoppers celebrated their romantic independence by spending more than $25.3 billion on Alibaba's e-commerce site during "Singles Day".

Singles Day was begun by Chinese college students in the 1990s as a version of Valentine's Day for people without romantic partners.

Fu Wenyue, a 23-year-old dresser in Shanghai, said offers this year were smaller but more "personalized" as brands used big data to hone their targets.

Everything about Singles Day is noteworthy, from the sales volume to the number of transactions that get processed on mobile payment platforms.

To connect a 10th of China's six million convenience stores to the internet, Alibaba uses an app called Ling Shou Tong, meaning "connect retail".

While JD traditionally leads in online retail sales, backed by extensive infrastructure, Alibaba has sought to win over merchants to its own growing retail platform, underpinned by new investments in logistics this year.

And on this day i.e. 24 hours Alibaba handled a transaction of 1.48 billion.

  • Eleanor Harrison