Internet giant Alibaba kicks off Singles' Day shopping bonanza with a bang

Internet giant Alibaba kicks off Singles' Day shopping bonanza with a bang

39% Growth really is staggering, global ecommerce grew 24.6% in 2016 so Alibaba's Singles' Day sales are far outpacing any metric you care to name. With more worldwide brands participating in the holiday with deals, sales could be much higher than a year ago, according to Squali.

Alibaba's payments affiliate, Alipay, processed $17.8 billion of transactions on November 11 past year. Just five minutes after midnight, Alipay, Alibaba's online payment system, was already processing 256,000 transactions per second, double the highest rate recorded past year. Market research experts say the massive growth is attributed to retailers competing for a share of consumer spending in China's growing economy.

China's smartphone-wielding masses unleashed billions of dollars in e-commerce spending Saturday as they rushed to snap up bargains on "Singles Day".

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More than half of China's 1.3 billion people use smartphones, which have become central to daily life, used for messaging, shopping, news and entertainment, ordering taxis and meals, and serving as digital wallets for a range of point-of-sale purchases. Zhang Jingjing, a 30-year-old clerk for an engineering company, prepared for Singles Day by building a shopping list on Alibaba's retail platform Tmall and watching for when prices dip.

More than 90 percent of Alipay orders were placed via mobile, the majority on Alibaba's main e-commerce platform Taobao.com.

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Shoppers around China and some 200 countries and regions scooped up discounted lobster, iPhones and refrigerators at a rate of as many as 256,000 transactions per second.

Alibaba turned 100,000 physical shops around China into "smart stores" for this year's event.

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.

Greenpeace said "Singles Day" deliveries previous year resulted in 130,000 metric tons (143,000 short tons) of packaging waste in what it called a "disaster for the environment".

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