Chinese spend billions shopping online on 'Singles Day'

Hit Singles

With those numbers, not Black Friday, Cyber Monday or Valentine's Day, can compete with Singles' Day as of yet.

Alibaba is also willing to export the Singles' Day 24-hour shopping concept to the rest of the world as the company has committed to serve 2 billion consumers worldwide by 2036, Tsai said. "Breaking into this market has been made much more straightforward thanks to Chinese third-party platforms such as Alibaba's Tmall".

The 2016 11.11 Global Shopping Event was generating $17.79 billion in sales. Singles' Day, then, appears to be celebrating a marriage after all-one of cyberspace and reality. The yearly buying binge has become crucial for manufacturers and retailers across the country, accounting for a significant share of annual orders for many businesses.

Alibaba ( BABA ) racked up another huge take from its "11.11 Global Shopping Festival", but JD.com ( JD ) also enjoyed a sales windfall.

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Alibaba has also introduced Hema Stores, wherein consumers can walk into the offline store and scan each of the products present in the store through their mobile phones to know more information about it. Alipay processed 1.5 billion payment transactions in total, up 41% from 2016, and processed 256,000 transactions per second at peak. We're just a small team working extra-hard to help you cut to the chase on the most important news from around the world, so we'd appreciate your help spreading the word.

Combined with Amazon's acquisition of grocery chain Whole Foods, Alibaba's plans mark a broader trend of the e-commerce giants moving into brick-and-mortar retail. "I have often emptied my "shopping cart" on Singles Day", Zheng said.

It already has a substantial stake in Lazada, an online retailer in Southeast Asia - a hot e-commerce battleground - and recently launched an electronic trading hub in Malaysia, its first outside China. "We will see tens of billions of dollars injected overseas (by Alibaba)", said Li Chengdong, a Beijing-based independent e-commerce analyst.

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