9.3 billion dollars…that's what happens when the world's most populated country goes on a one-day online shopping binge. It was for Singles Day on November 11, China's version of Cyber Monday. Online retailers offered deep discounts to shoppers and Alibaba, which runs two of China's largest online retailers processed more than five times the amount that's done on Cyber Monday. Last year, the biggest online shopping day in the US—the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday—brought in a measly 1.7 billion dollars.
To show off the data, Alibaba invited hundreds of journalists to its offices in Hangzhou (hannng-JOE), China, where it erected a large display tallying all the orders in real-time.
The shopping event,wasn't without challenges though. YTO Express, one of China's biggest shipping firms, has hired 30,000 additional workers to deal with the flood of deliveries. It expects to process 17 million packages, a huge jump from its 6 million daily average. More than 70 percent of the shipments will come from Alibaba.
SOT Xiang Feng CEO, YTO Express We have done a lot. We bring in additional trucks and we hired more people and we expanded and revamped our shipment centers.
Many domestic merchants like Xiaomi, a local maker of inexpensive Android handsets sold out of product within 15 minutes. Alibaba ranked some of the most popular companies in several product categories. Notice Apple in spot 4 for mobile phones.
Mobile was big for the event with 42 percent of all online goods ordered with a mobile device.
This year's festival also marked the first time Alibaba has sought to globalize the annual event, offering discounts through its English-language AliExpress site.
At the end of the day the company ranked the top countries for exported products with Hong Kong, Russia and the US claiming the top spots.
With reporting by Michael Kan in Hangzhou, China, I'm Nick Barber, IDG News Service.