China’s largest ecommerce company, Alibaba Group Holding, broke its one-day sales record by more than 80% yesterday according to reports.
Alibaba’s two main platforms, Taobao and Tmall, delivered 35 billion yuan ($5.75bn) sales in the 24-hour period on China’s Singles’ Day. The figure outstripped last year’s of 19.1bn yuan.
China’s Singles’ Day, a local twist on Valentine’s Day, sees ecommerce firms flooding the internet with promotions, making it China’s biggest online shopping day.
The online marketplace is for consumers and business to business companies and sells everything from apples to Boeing 737s.
Alibaba is considering a US listing after talks with Hong Kong’s stock exchange fell apart. It has been valued by analysts at as much as $190bn, compared with Facebook’s $104bn valuation after its market debut.
Tmall’s sellers starting cutting prices by 50% from midnight from more than 20,000 Chinese and international merchants including Gap.
Alibaba doesn’t sell merchandise itself. Instead, it runs platforms including Taobao and Tmall that connects retail brands with consumers, a cross between Amazon and Ebay. It makes most of its sales from commissions and advertising.
China Singles’ Day is thought to have been invented by students in the 1990s, with the date (11-11) reminiscent of the Chinese phrase “bare branches – for bachelors and spinsters”.