Alibaba Group Holding set a record 213.5 billion yuan (US$30.8 billion) in Singles’ Day sales, underscoring the resilience in consumer spending in the world’s second-biggest economy.
The record was broken at 3.49 pm Sunday, Hong Kong time, helped by the participation of Alibaba’s Southeast Asia unit Lazada Group. The final tally excluded sales from other businesses that participated in the shopping festival, such as Ele.me and the Hema supermarket chain.
Consumers took less than two hours to rack up 100 billion yuan in purchases after the festival began at midnight, a milestone that took seven more hours to achieve last year. In just 30 minutes, 30 brands including Nike, Adidas, Apple and Xiaomi had crossed 100 million yuan in sales. MAC sold out its 3,700 special edition lipsticks in one second.
The biggest spenders were from Shanghai, where this year’s Singles’ Day gala was held, followed by those in Beijing, Hangzhou and Guangzhou. Almost one in two consumers (46 per cent) who took part in the Singles’ Day event were born in the 1990s.
“People born in the 1990s have become the main consumption power,” said Daniel Zhang, Alibaba’s chief executive. “They lead a very different lifestyle, they are the generation born on the internet. They’re living on the mobile internet today – the way they select products or brands is very different from [older] generations.”