More than 2 million online retailers joined the "double 12" shopping festival on Alibaba's online shopping platforms Taobao and Tmall yesterday as it tries to encourage more sellers to provide more diverse and quality goods and services to consumers. The number of retailers is far more than for last year's "double 12", and was expected to result in a transaction value record. However, an Alibaba spokeswoman said it would not disclose the amount this time, unlike for last month's "double 11" sales day. Taobao and Tmall, Alibaba's two main online retailing platforms, recorded 35 billion yuan (HK$44.5 billion) in sales revenue on November 11 during a 24-hour "double 11" sales festival. "The nature of the December 12 event is different from November 11," the spokeswoman said. The company had said earlier that the "double 12" sales event was aimed at giving more exposure to small and medium-sized retailers and encouraging them to improve the quality of products and services offered online. Many retailers taking part in the promotion offered discounts or cash rebates of up to 50 per cent to shoppers. The Taobao shopping portal budgeted 300 million yuan for various promotion activities in the past two weeks, even buying all the Union Lotto lottery tickets to be drawn yesterday and offering the prizes to people who shopped during the promotions. It has also released a study on consumption trends this year, which found that mainland consumers spent a total of 870 million yuan on anti-pollution items including face masks, air purifiers and indoor treadmills during what has been a smog-plagued year. Nearly 6,000 mainlanders spent more than 1 million yuan each on Taobao platforms, mostly on cars, land-use rights and expensive vacations. In addition, fathers became more involved in purchasing infant and maternal items from Taobao this year, spending 18.1 billion yuan on baby-related items. Mothers spent 29.1 billion yuan.