Chinese consumers collectively spent 158.31 billion yuan (US$22.63 billion) in the first nine hours of Alibaba’s Singles’ Day shopping extravaganza, scooping up everything from consumer electronics to luxury items and even cars. The figure is two thirds of last year’s final tally of US$30.8 billion.
Alibaba’s Singles’ Day shopping festival, which falls on November 11 every year, is the world’s largest of its kind. The festival will be closely watched this year as a barometer for consumer sentiment 16 months into a US-China trade war and amid a slowdown in the Chinese economy. While the company’s e-commerce marketplaces Tmall and Taobao are traditionally the mainstays of the annual shopping extravaganza, this year’s festival will also include business-to-business e-commerce platforms like AliExpress as well as Lazada, Alibaba’s Southeast Asian e-commerce subsidiary, as the company taps international consumers.