Alibaba is slipping despite a record-setting Singles Day

Andrew Cummings
November 13, 2017

China's Alibaba may have scored a home-run with its Singles Day sales on Nov 11 raking in $25.3 billion in merchandise sold over its Taobao and Tmall portals, up from $17.8 billion in 2016 and $14.3 billion in 2015.

During the "Singles Day", a one-day shopping event held on November 11,'s transaction volume hit $19.1 billion, up 50% on year, it said in a statement Sunday.

This figure was corroborated by ecommerce platform monitor Criteo, which said about 75 percent of transactions went through mobiles, with most of those in apps.

That's almost double the sales from Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States combined, according to technology news website The Verge. At its peak, the company's processors handled 256,000 transactions per second. The country's online retail sales are growing 30% a year with mobile payment transactions surpassing $23.8 trillion, Chinese President Xi Jinping said at a meeting of world leaders in Vietnam on Saturday. The event is celebrated on November 11 in China and is the biggest commercial day of the year, with sales reaching at least 225 countries worldwide.

At least 331 million packages were handled by Chinese postal and courier companies, 31.5 percent more than the same day previous year, according to the State Post Bureau. More than 140,000 brands participated in this year's shopping event. Ma's company spent billions buying into grocers, shopping malls and even department stores years before Amazon announced its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods Market Inc.

JD is expanding rapidly into offline stores and overseas markets, as rival Alibaba continues to invest heavily in logistics and retail alongside its marketplace business, edging further into JD's territory.

To see more about these major players, check out the infographic.

Alibaba spotted the region's potential, and injected another $1 billion into Lazada in June this year, to now own 83 percent of the company.

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