China Singles' Day sale draws millions of shoppers

Last Updated: Mon, Nov 12, 2012 11:00 hrs

Beijing, Nov 12 (IANS) Millions of people in China have participated in an online sale known as Singles' Day, registering a record 14 billion yuan (about $2.2 billion) worth of transactions, which could be the biggest e-commerce sales day on record.

Sunday's Singles' Day sale is the Chinese answer to Cyber Monday in the US.

By 7 p.m., 14.1 billion yuan of transactions were made on Tmall and Taobao, the online shopping websites of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, the China Daily reported Monday.

The research company comScore said US online retailers saw $1.25 billion of sales during last year's Cyber Monday, the day after Thanksgiving weekend.

The name Singles' Day is inspired by the date Nov 11. When the date is written numerically, the singular digits are said to represent single people, according to the daily.

"In the past, people only shopped online occasionally, but now, online shopping is a lifestyle embraced by many," said Zhang Yong, Tmall president.

In the first 30 minutes of the promotion, 930 million yuan worth of sales were made by Taobao and Tmall - more than the total retail sales in Hong Kong per day in August.

In less than 14 hours, the sales hit 10 billion yuan, exceeding what Cyber Monday registered last year.

Alibaba began to hold Singles' Day promotions in 2009, and last year, its transactions totalled 5.2 billion yuan.

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