Singles' Day (11.11)

Alibaba’s Singles’ Day sale becomes more international

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 November, 2016, 8:48pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 13 November, 2016, 10:05pm

Singles’ Day, which already surpassed America’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday as the largest online shopping event by value on the planet, is no longer a strictly Chinese affair.

Cross-border transactions soared 47 per cent in value compared with last year as consumers from other countries joined in the shopping frenzy, buying products from Chinese producers as well as from each other.

The top five export destinations of Chinese producers were Russia, Spain, Israel, Ukraine and France, according to data by Alibaba, owner of the South China Morning Post.

“It’s an increasing trend of buying globally and selling globally,” said Douglas Feagin, senior vice-president of Ant Financial, operator of Alibaba’s Alipay electronic payments platform. “You’ll increasingly see consumers from around the world buy products on Alibaba’s e-commerce site. The breadth of choices continues to increase and as the publicity and positioning expand, more people become aware of it.”

Up to 37 per cent of the buyers who helped Alibaba log a record 120.7 billion yuan in purchases shopped from overseas web stores, according to Alibaba’s data. Virtual reality played a big role, allowing Chinese customers to browse the isles of Macy’s store in New York without going abroad.

Japan topped the list of countries visited by Chinese shoppers, followed by the US, South Korea, Australia and Germany.

The top American sought-after were Apple, Nike and New Balance, while Siemens, Philips and Adidas were the most popular European brands.

Mobile internet applications have enabled international commerce to grow at a pace and in ways that could only be imagined years ago, Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma Yun said.

“There will be a virtual economy on the internet,” Ma said. “All the young people, the small and medium-sized enterprises, the businesses can leverage the sector to do global buying and global selling.”