Singles Day Sales Hit Record High in 2017

From the New York Times.  Visit the source (link on the title) to see more images.

Alibaba’s Singles Day Sales Hit New Record of $25.3 Billion

On the eve of the annual Singles Day event in China, deliverymen sorted packages in Beijing.CreditFred Dufour/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Singles Day — the frenzied annual celebration of consumption and commerce that is China’s much larger version of Black Friday — began as a protest of sorts against Valentine’s Day, propelled by college students in the 1990s.

The event’s date, written numerically as 11/11, was associated with unattached singles, known as “bare sticks.”

This year’s shopping festival entered new territory, blazing past $1 billion within two minutes of the holiday, starting at midnight on Saturday. By the end of the day, sales had hit a new record of $25.3 billion, more than 40 percent higher than sales on Singles Day 2016.

At a logistics center in Nanjing, China, an employee prepared boxes to be used for express delivery. The first purchase during Singles Day this year was delivered less than 13 minutes after midnight. CreditChina Network/Reuters

Singles Day is now inextricably linked with Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce leviathan that in recent years has turned the holiday into an online — and occasionally brick-and-mortar — mercantile extravaganza. It routinely eclipses Amazon’s yearly Prime Day promotional event.

In July, Prime Day generated an estimated $1 billion in revenue during its 30-hour sale window, resulting in what Amazon called its “biggest day ever.”The event has evolved into a cultural phenomenon. On Friday night, Alibaba hosted a lavish gala in Shanghai, directed by one of the producers behind the 2016 Academy Awards. Celebrities such as Nicole Kidman, Pharrell Williams and Maria Sharapova helped count down the moments before the 60,000 participating global brands released their Singles Day deals to shoppers.

One offer, from the Chongqing-based online alcohol brand Jiang Xiao Bai, allowed 33 fast-moving customers to make a single payment of 11,111 yuan, or $1,673, for a lifetime supply of a grain liquor known as baijiu.

Singles Day, which is largely powered through Alibaba’s Tmall marketplace, was a test of the company’s logistics network. The company promised delivery within an hour for certain products and, in advance of the shopping festival, converted nearly 100,000 stores across China into “smart stores” capable of processing payment using facial recognition and other advanced technologies.

A visitor at the command center in Beijing for the Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com. The digital map behind him shows the flow of deliveries across the country on Singles Day. CreditNg Han Guan/Associated Press
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Leanne

I began writing Elle's Adventure in China (EACh) in June 2014 as a fun summer project, but as obstacles kept interfering with my plans, I forked and forked more options. I took writing this novel much more seriously in mid-July, and want to have it officially published someday in my lifetime. As many artists put their hearts into their projects, so do I. I did not start out liking to read, but a professor suggested a book for me for homework a few years ago, and it was an amazing book. Since then, I read for pleasure, and I hope my novel, Elle's Adventure in China, does the same for as many of you as possible. The same thing goes to writing. I did not like to write until I took a course where the professor and papers made me love to write. I hope every one of you find what makes you happy and dedicated to work. In May 2015, I started my other blog, Read and Write Here (R&WH), as a place to post other things that aren't China- and Chinese culture-related and not EACh. I share some of my memories and experiences from student teaching, irregular participation in Daily Prompts, etc. I'd like to have regular people and bloggers to write book reviews and post it on R&WH someday. Keep reading and writing!

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