What the Singles Day Mean for Alibaba

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    People watch a screen displaying the total value of goods sold during Alibaba Group's 11.11 Singles' Day global shopping festival in Shenzhen, China, November 12, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

    Back in the 1990s, Chinese students decided to boycott the Valentine Day and formed what came to be referred to as the Singles Day. This day in China has deviated from its intended purpose as it has become a version of Black Friday. This is a date that is known as 11/11 today and was very popular among the unattached singles back then. It even had a nickname bare singles. However, the holiday managed to record history when it managed to make sales worth $1 billion in a matter of two minutes. The day began on Saturday midnight. By the end of the day, the day’s sales were 40 percent higher than what was experienced last year. Alibaba said that it made a record of sales worth $25.3 billion. In the past few years, Alibaba has managed to transform the day into a mercantile extravaganza resembling the brick and mortar retail. Back in July, Alibaba said that it had recorded the biggest day ever when it generated approximately $1 billion in a single day. Singles day has managed to evolve into a cultural phenomenon for Alibaba. This is the reason why Alibaba decided to host a lavish gala on Friday. The venue for the gala was Shanghai. Big names were in attendance as Maria Sharapova, Pharrell Williams and Nicole Kidman graced the occasion.

    60,000 people attended the party. One of the most notable offers was an offer from an alcohol brand known as Jiang Xiao. This is a brand from Chongqing, and it allowed 33 customers to make a single payment of 11,111 Yuan to receive a lifetime supply of their liquor. However, the day was also seen as a test for Alibaba logistic networks. The company said that it would deliver some of the ordered products within an hour. At the same time, some of the 100,000 stores in the country promised their customers that they would process their payment details through the facial recognition. Alibaba has transformed in the past few years to become one of the most valuable companies in the tech world. For instance, during the announcement for the recent quarter, the company announced that it had doubled its profits compared to a similar time last year. This has been made possible by a 61 percent increase in its annual revenue. Compared to Amazon, the company is doing quite better as Amazon only reported a 31 percent in revenue during the same period.

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