Alibaba's Singles Day is over

Workers sorting packages at an automated logistics centre for Chinese e-commerce giant

China prepares for world's largest online shopping festival

Sales on Alibaba's e-commerce platform Tmall exceeded 372.3 billion yuan (56.29 billion US dollars) between November 1 and 12:30 a.m. on November 11.

China reported positive economic growth for the second quarter in a row last month, underlining how quickly the world's second-largest economy has recovered from the pandemic.

Sales of electronics and health and healthcare products are also expected to rise as more people work from home and focus more on their health in the midst of infections, according to a report by Consulting Pine & Company. "This actually stimulates online consumption".

The United States was the top source of imported products purchased on Alibaba platforms during this year's festival, despite trade and diplomatic tensions between Beijing and Washington.

Its Singles' Day approach this year was to begin sales earlier to give lesser-known brands more exposure.

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This year, several companies including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and JD.com Inc offered huge discounts and promotions for several days and had tremendous sales over this short period.

In a first, this year the shopping spree has been extended by 24 hours (from October 21 to November 11) to tackle the pressure of logistics and better support online sales. Last year, it clocked record GMV of $38.4 billion.

The event is usually a splashy affair accompanied by live performances, with Katy Perry and Taylor Swift appearing this year at Alibaba's gala late on Tuesday, albeit via livestream.

Over 340 firms, including Apple Inc, L'Oréal SA and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, have exceeded 100 million yuan in sales, with 13 brands recording GMV above 1 billion yuan, Alibaba said.

The event has proven to be a big success for Kiwi pet food business "Ziwi" too.

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The remaining 14 per cent of survey respondents said they will spend less on Singles Day, because the pandemic had brought too much uncertainty for them.

To encourage spending, livestreamers thronged pop-up film studios at a building near Alibaba's Hangzhou headquarters, touting the merits of goods on sale.

Other sites such as JD.com and Douyin, the Chinese version of viral video app TikTok, also hold their own Singles' Day events.

Online brand, Alibaba generated an estimated gross 498.2 billion yuan ($75.28 billion) in gross merchandise volume, while JD.com grossed about 271.5 billion yuan in sales. More than 800 million consumers, 250,000 brands and five million merchants are involved in this shopping extravaganza.

Bloomberg reports during the first 111 minutes of sales on November 1, Nike (NKE) and Apple (AAPL) were some of the 100 brands generating about $15 million in transactions.

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It has said it will introduce more than two million new products, double last year's figure.

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