China Singles Day online shopping hits RMB 35.1 billion

(AP)

Move over, Cyber Monday. Take a back seat, Black Friday. The world’s biggest online shopping day takes place throughout China this coming Monday, November 11, known as the 11.11 Shopping Festival. The event topped RMB 35 billion ($5.7 billion) this year, up a whopping 83 percent from the previous year, as offline promotional activities attracted more users and a surge in participating merchants created a frenzied 11.11 shopping festival.

The 11.11 Shopping Festival is an annual event that began in China-originally part of China’s “Singles Day” when young Chinese celebrate their bachelor life. In 2009, Alibaba Group launched an online shopping festival on its shopping platforms: TMall.com and Taobao Marketplace to help celebrate the day and liven up a slow shopping period between October’s National Day and Chinese New Year in January or February.

It was an immediate success-and has grown every year since. In 2012, Alibaba Group’s online shopping platforms TMall.com and Taobao Marketplace recorded sales of more than RMB 19.1 billion (US $3.1 billion). That doubled the 24-hour online sales record of US $1.5 billion on Cyber Monday in the same year.

This year’s 11.11 event is expected to break all records again. 20,000 brands on TMall will join the promotion including many Western brands such as Microsoft, Gap, Toys “R” Us, and others.

This video news release shows video of the 11.11 shopping festival. Shots will include the TMall “command center,” merchants preparing stock, online shoppers, warehouses getting ready, and more.

(Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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