13 November, 2015
E-commerce giant Alibaba broke records with sales of $14.3 billion on China's Singles' Day.
It is the largest online shopping day in the world.
Online sales from last year increased 60 percent, according to Alibaba. Most people shopped on mobile devices, said the firm. The numbers are preliminary and unaudited, the company said.
China Singles' Day takes place November 11, or 11.11 each year. Alibaba promoted it as a shopping day in 2009. There are steep discounts and other promotions designed to attract online customers.
Singles' Day quickly became a retail sensation.
China Singles' Day "has now become larger than both Cyber Monday and Black Friday combined," the two biggest shopping days in the U.S., reported NBC News.
Kitty Fok is China manager for market research from IDC. She told the BBC that online shopping had become a comfortable channel for most consumers.
"China is a big market with close to one billion smart, connected device users. It is good news for both Alibaba and their competitors," she said.
Jack Ma is Alibaba's founder and executive chairman. He told journalists in Beijing that the event's annual growth in the future should be more than 50 percent.
The company is focusing on international e-commerce for future Singles' Days, reported Reuters.
"Within the next five years, we expect China will become the world's largest e-commerce market for imported products," President Michael Evans told reporters on Wednesday.
Alibaba Chief Executive Daniel Zhang said in a statement that Singles' Day would mean that "the whole world will witness the power of Chinese consumption."
Over 130 million users visited Alibaba's marketplace app, Taobao, reported the BBC.
I'm Mary Gotschall.
Mary Gotschall adapted this story for Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.
Words in This Story
transactions – n. a business deal : an occurrence in which goods, services, or money are passed from one person, account, etc., to another
preliminary – adj. coming before the main part of something
unaudited – v. not conducting a complete and careful examination of the financial records of a business or person
steep – adj. very high
discounts – n. an amount taken off a regular price : a price reduction
promotions – n. the act of promoting someone or something
sensation – n. someone or something that causes a lot of excitement and interest
channel – n. a system used for sending something (such as information or supplies) from one place or person to another
consumption – n. the act of buying things
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