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China sales: Alibaba takes £2bn in minutes on Singles' Day

China sales: Alibaba takes £2bn in minutes on Singles' Day

Alibaba created the 11.11 event as "Singles Day" back in 2009.

China's biggest e-commerce giant, Alibaba Group, said sales by the thousands of retailers on its platforms had exceeded 130 billion yuan ($20 billion) by early evening Saturday in a count that started at midnight Friday.

More than 140,000 brands participate in 11.11 in 2017, offering 15 million products The Double 11 shopping event has more than 60,000 global brands that will offer popular items from authentic autographed sports memorabilia to fresh foods and produce to half a billion Chinese consumers.

"Nearly $11.9 billion worth of total Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) (sales in dollar value of goods sold over a certain period) was generated within the first two hours of the shopping festival", Alibaba Group Holdings Limited said in a statement. Shoppers also spent $3.39 billion on Cyber Monday past year, the largest single online shopping day in the U.S., Adobe said. Singles' Day, then, appears to be celebrating a marriage after all-one of cyberspace and reality.

An estimated 1.5 billion parcels will need to be delivered over the next week.

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Alibaba managed to expand Singles Day from a local Chinese sales event to a global sales day.

And we know that some of the world's best retailers will be offering deals up to 30% off.

. Ahead of the event, the retailer also outfitted almost 100,000 of its Tmall stores across China with facial recognition technology to process payments.

Shoppers around China and some 200 countries and regions scooped up discounted lobster, iPhones and refrigerators at a rate of as many as 256,000 transactions per second.

China is already the world's largest e-commerce market and the share of online shopping that makes up all consumer spending grows every year. Greenpeace said Singles' Day deliveries previous year created 130,000 tonnes of packaging waste - less than 10 per cent of which is recycled. "We will see tens of billions of dollars injected overseas (by Alibaba)", said Mr Li Chengdong, a Beijing-based independent e-commerce analyst.

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