China’s Singles Day breaks payment records again to hit $18 billion in sales

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Another year, another Singles Day event, another staggering amount of payments made and processed. The e-commerce giant, Alibaba, has said its sales for this year’s Singles Day, an event held every year on 11/11, hit $18 billion, an increase of 32% on last year’s total of $14.3 billion.

It was another resounding success for mobile shopping as Alibaba reported that over eight out of ten transactions were made on mobile devices, a total that surpasses last year’s amount as a whole.

Singles Day was originally a celebration of Chinese singletons, 11/11 being the most appropriate day to celebrate people who haven’t yet partnered off. In 2009, however, Alibaba transformed the day into a much more commercial entity. Since then the amount of sales has been more than doubling every year, starting with just $0.05 billion in 2009, $0.14 billion in 2010 then $5.8 billion in 2013 and only three years later $18 billion.

Apple also seemed to be the big winner of the day as it came top of the US brands, beating Nike, New Balance, Skechers and…Playboy.

Alibaba wasn’t the only one to benefit from the shopping craze as its rival JD.com, which focuses more on the electronic products, said it received more orders in the first nine hour son this year’s event than in the whole of Singles Day 2014. In its first 12 hours, sales from mobile accounted for 85% of all transactions.

Singles Day is also the perfect time for the likes of Alibaba to trial new products and payment experiences. This year it tested out VR with its Buy+ technology. According to the company, 30,000 people tried the technology on the first day of its release, a week before Singles Day. By Thursday, the day before Singles Day, eight million people had tried it,

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