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Internet giant Alibaba kicks off Singles' Day shopping bonanza with a bang

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SHANGHAI CHINA- NOVEMBER 10 Singer Jessie J performs on the stage during 2017 Alibaba Singles' Day Global Shopping Festival gala at Mercedes Benz Arena

That same year, the shopping extravaganza known as Singles' Day raked in $17.8 billion on November 11 (11.11) according to FGRT estimates.

China's Singles' Day sales on TMall hit 10 billion yuan (about 1.5 billion USA dollars) at just three minutes past midnight on Saturday.

The massive, promotion-driven shopping event in China that drives the biggest one-day online sales in the world, is not the natural setting for high-end luxury brands - so e-commerce marketplace Alibaba made a place for them.

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.

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.

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E-commerce giant Alibaba on Saturday kicked off its ninth edition of the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, its annual sales event.

The event has been adopted by Alibaba rivals such as JD.com, with merchants engaging in a cut-throat battle to slash prices and move goods. There were 256,000 payment transactions processed per second by Alipay, Alibaba's Alizila news website reported. Cyber Monday sales clocked in at $3.5 billion-resulting in total sales of about $8.7 billion as consumers prepared for the gift-giving holiday season. The Sixth Tone reports that Chinese retailers traditionally put a limit on how many items you can put in your online shopping cart to help "ease operations", encouraging buyers to put in one purchase order rather than multiple transactions that require more processing.

Alibaba and JD stock have both doubled this year as revenues surged.

"This is a big event for China, for the Chinese economy", Mr Joseph Tsai, Alibaba's co-founder and vice-chairman, said. Greenpeace said Singles' Day deliveries previous year created 130,000 tonnes of packaging waste - less than 10 per cent of which is recycled.

It said e-commerce is actually more carbon-intensive than brick-and-mortar shopping, calling "Singles Day" a "disaster for the environment".

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