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Alibaba hits $76b in sales as Singles’ Day gets into full swing

SHANGZHOU China's Alibaba said orders on its e-commerce platforms during the Singles' Day shopping extravaganza had exceeded US$56 billion (S$76 billion) by yesterday morning, as lockdown-weary consumers splashed out on as many as 16 million discounted goods.

The world's biggest sales event - eclipsing Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the US - spans four main days this year, and so far has brought sellers 16 times as many orders by value than Amazon's two-day global Prime Day last month.

Such is its size that its performance is widely considered indicative of China's post-virus economic recovery.

"Because of Covid-19, many Chinese cannot go overseas," Alibaba's vice-president Liu Bo said. "This actually stimulates online consumption."

So far, the performance is likely a relief for Alibaba after losing about 10 per cent of its market value last week when regulators scuppered the listing of fintech affiliate Ant Group.

The company began sales early this year to give lesser-known brands more exposure.

DISCOUNT DAYS

It set primary discount days for Nov 1 through Nov 3 as well as the usual Nov 11, and will calculate gross merchandise volume (GMV) over all 11 days.

The event, launched in 2009, is usually a splashy, single-day affair with live performances and which last year clocked record GMV of US$38.4 billion.

This year, Katy Perry appeared at Alibaba's gala via livestream. - REUTERS

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