An electronic screen shows sales on Alibaba’s retail platforms hit 10 billion yuan (US$1.5 billion) at a gala staged by Alibaba for the Singles’ Day shopping festival in Shenzhen. [Shanghai Daily]

Within minutes of it kicking off at midnight, Singles’ Day, China’s annual online shopping fiesta, had smashed sales records across multiple online marketplaces.

Sales on Alibaba had surpassed 10 billion yuan (1.47 billion U.S. dollars) in six minutes 58 seconds, almost six minutes ahead of last year, the company said.

Gome, another e-commerce site, recorded a 366-percent year-on-year surge in orders in the first hour.

As of 9 a.m. Friday, total sales across 16 of China’s major e-commerce platforms had already topped 76 billion yuan, according to data provider Syntun, which has been monitoring the real-time transactions of the top 16.

Put forward by Alibaba as the Chinese version of Black Friday, Singles’ Day has grown into a huge competition for market share among Chinese e-commerce companies.

Of the 76-billion yuan transactions, 74.2 percent were made through platforms managed by e-commerce giant Alibaba; 16.4 percent through JD.com and 2.8 percent on home appliance retailer Suning.com.

This year’s online shopping bonanza saw an increase in the number of mobile transactions, with 83 percent of the purchases completed on mobile devices.

According to Internet industry research agency iResearch, China’s online shopping market’s sales volume was 1.1 trillion yuan in the second quarter, up by 27.6 percent from the same period last year. It also estimated the volume would exceed 1.5 trillion in the fourth quarter.

Source: xinhuanet

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