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China Businesses

Alibaba Breaks Records, Sells $17.7 Billion on Singles' Day (techinasia.com) 64

Alibaba broke its Singles' Day sales record with room to spare, offering assurances about the strength of the Chinese consumer despite the nation's economic slowdown. From a report on Tech in Asia:As the clock struck midnight, Alibaba announced its final total for 2016's Singles Day sales frenzy: US$17.7 billion. Alibaba has beaten its own sales totals each year since the sales began, and this year was no different. It passed last year's US$14.3 billion high-water mark early in the evening, a sign that this year's growth wasn't going to be quite as explosive as previous years' (in 2015, Alibaba hit the previous year's mark at midday). In the end that proved true, as Alibaba fell just short of the US$20 billion target some had been expecting it to surpass. Still, nearly US$18 billion is nothing to sneeze at.
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Alibaba Breaks Records, Sells $17.7 Billion on Singles' Day

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  • And what is Singles' Day?
    • Re:Singles' Day (Score:5, Informative)

      by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Friday November 11, 2016 @12:31PM (#53266237)

      And what is Singles' Day?

      From what I understand it's kind of an anti-Valentines Day. Basically a day for urban singles to spend money on things for themselves. A lot of young people in China have moved to the cities so have a decent amount of money, but reduced availability of women looking to be in relationships (due to a combination of young people focusing on careers and a carryover form the One Child Policy) means a lot of people aren't in relationships. Basically it's a Chinese Hallmark (ie made up) holiday to celebrate being single by buying yourself crap instead of buying it for a boyfriend or girlfriend.

      • In fairness (Score:4, Interesting)

        by s.petry ( 762400 ) on Friday November 11, 2016 @12:42PM (#53266327)

        The one child policy led to a form of gender genocide. The disparity is as high as 1 woman for every 1.4 men in the major cities . Still today you have people killing female babies in mass numbers. Strangely Wiki [wikipedia.org] claims this is a "birth imbalance" instead of what it really is. They also don't remove or mention the sex slaves from the numbers, so there is most certainly favorable Chinese bias in the page. Human rights groups can't investigate this either, so the numbers given are from the Government.

        • Which is really putting China in a bad place. They need a war soon, or else all the young men with nothing to do might take matters into their own hands.
        • My buddy who is married to a Chinese girl and lives there says the one-child policy has ended. Even before, you could do it if you payed a "fine."
          • Re:In fairness (Score:5, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 11, 2016 @01:08PM (#53266537)

            The one child policy was phased out in 2015. When it was in effect, it only applied to people living in the cities. People in rural areas could have more than one child (presumably because they were farmers and needed the extra labor.) Fines were somewhat arbitrary but could be many times the average annual salary. Failure to pay the fine would mean your child would never be able to go to school, get a job, rent an apartment, etc.

            An interesting side note, it is illegal in China for doctors to tell a pregnant woman the gender of her unborn child. So if you ever meet a pregnant Chinese woman, don't bother asking if it's a boy or a girl.

            • So if you ever meet a pregnant Chinese woman, don't bother asking if it's a boy or a girl.

              Yeah, because Chinese women can't visit Hong Kong for a quick sound scan. Right.

          • That is correct it has ended, and you could have more than one if you wanted to pay heavy fines. However, fewer people are taking advantage of the second child now allowed than was expected because society has got used to the one child norm now.

            • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Friday November 11, 2016 @04:54PM (#53268075)

              you could have more than one if you wanted to pay heavy fines.

              My wife is Chinese, and her brother wanted a 2nd kid back in 2003, when the "fine" was 5000 RMB, or about $700. I gave him the money, and they had a daughter a year later. She is 12 years old now, and is the world's nicest niece. It was the best $700 I ever spent.

              • $700 not that much in the west, and probably not a huge deal to people in China toady either. I imagine it wasn't something to sneeze at for a family in China circa 2003.

                Here in the US, $700 is less than a third of the cost I owed (even after insurance) for each of my children to be born. Medical Insurance is trying to enact a zero child per family policy here in the US I think.

      • Re:Singles' Day (Score:4, Interesting)

        by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo.world3@net> on Friday November 11, 2016 @03:01PM (#53267393) Homepage

        Does anyone know if they do White Day in China?

        In Japan you have Valentine's day, when women give gifts to men, and then a month later in March they have White Day when men give gifts to women.

    • by SirSlud ( 67381 )

      The date 11/11 is like sticks, and there's basically a term for single guys in China like .. stick man or something similar.

      Source: my Taiwanese wife.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Friday November 11, 2016 @12:28PM (#53266195)

    Despite living in a country with over a billion people, there are apparently a lot of lonely Chinese.

    • Re:The takeaway (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Oswald McWeany ( 2428506 ) on Friday November 11, 2016 @01:39PM (#53266795)

      Sometimes the presence of others can make one lonelier. I never feel lonely when out camping, kayaking or hiking out by myself for days at a time but can feel a melancholy solitude and feel alone in a crowded city full of strangers..

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      The "singles" bit refers to all the 1s in the date, not being single. A lot of this stuff was probably gifts, in fact. They sell a lot of clothes, jewellery, gadgets etc. People stock up for new year and, sickeningly, Christmas.

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        The "singles" bit refers to all the 1s in the date, not being single. A lot of this stuff was probably gifts, in fact. They sell a lot of clothes, jewellery, gadgets etc. People stock up for new year and, sickeningly, Christmas.

        No, it means single as in unattached. The "1"s bit in 11/11 just reinforces the "single" bit and that's why that (unfortunate) date was chosen. Given Alibaba made it up, that's their interpretation.

        Basically it's a day for the singles to celebrate, just like Valentine's day celebrate

  • by fubarrr ( 884157 ) on Friday November 11, 2016 @12:38PM (#53266293)

    >Alibaba Breaks Records, Sells $17.7 Billion on Singles' Day

    The trick is simple: Alibaba gives 11.11 participant stores discount ads through the year. As nobody is still buying anything from 90% of the stores, most stores are forced to hire people to buy from them and return goods afterwards just to get those discounted clicks. This is why US SEC is going after them claiming that they faked 2/3 of the digit last year and in 2014.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I don't have mod points so all I can say is they're being investigated by basically everyone and have been warned several times by the Chinese industry monitors about this. Nobody's had hard evidence I have seen of them faking the numbers but lots of authorities (in the US, China, some others) have been calling them out on it.

    • by fubarrr ( 884157 )

      Still, 5.9 Billion bucks is nothing to sneeze at. Their international outlet racked more sales today in Russia than what eBay sells here in a year.

  • Will be very interesting to see a breakdown by country....
  • ...and here is why: -

    There was a report that Alibaba generated more revenue than Ebay and Amazon combined. Have a look [rt.com]

    I am afraid we in the west may soon cease to be that relevant when it comes to global or worldwide money matters, though I must admit that this is still way far off.

    • by 31415926535897 ( 702314 ) on Friday November 11, 2016 @12:54PM (#53266441) Journal

      How is it bad for the US if China is doing well? As far as I can tell, we'll actually have a much better economy here in the US if the rest of the world becomes affluent. They don't have to be doing poorly for us to be doing well--economics is not a zero sum game. I say: good for China that they're growing.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yes, that is true, Alibaba dwarfs either Amazon or Ebay and is in fact bigger than both together. But more than that, most Ebay sellers are just sourcing items from Alibaba and re-selling on Ebay. A huge fraction of what you buy from Ebay stores is really coming from Alibaba stores originally, with a mark-up by the Ebay middleman.

      • most Ebay sellers are just sourcing items from Alibaba and re-selling on Ebay

        I can say it's true here in Brazil too (the local eBay is called "Mercado Livre" [mercadolivre.com.br])

    • Asia has other problems to deal with. In terms of GDP per capita [wikipedia.org], only the city-states of Singapore and Hong Kong have reached western-levels of productivity ($40-$50k/yr) primarily because their stats are not dragged down by low-income rural residents. Japan sits at about 3/4 (low- to mid-$30k/yr). South Korea and Taiwain about half (low- to high-$20k/yr).

      My own theory is that this is due to (1) corruption in government and business, and (2) inefficiency due to traditional Confucian ideals which impa
  • Usually, before a depression, minor panics and a general slowdown occurs, followed by some more initial warning signs. Within a year or two, it's very likely that we will see the real Chinese crash happen (perhaps if the new president gets his way on some of his policies).
    • so the Chinese will be in good mindset for making deals. Glad to hear it, playing into Trump's hands already

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Friday November 11, 2016 @12:57PM (#53266467) Homepage
    this is also called the 11/11 day sale (single digits) and largely affects http://aliexpress.com/ [aliexpress.com] a competitor to amazon.com
  • Doubles day (Score:5, Funny)

    by Oswald McWeany ( 2428506 ) on Friday November 11, 2016 @01:34PM (#53266743)

    If there were a doubles day they would make 35.4 billion.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Singles' Day or Guanggun Jie (Chinese: ; pinyin: Gunggùn Jié; Wade–Giles: Kuang-kun chieh; literally: "bare sticks holiday") is an entertaining festival widespread among young Chinese people, to celebrate the fact that they are proud of being single.


  • Imagine if you will being alone with hundreds of millions of other lonely people, together.

    Is it possible that this one child policy and other change factors completely fucked an entire generation? why so many are depressed, why suicide rates are high, especially for women?

    You grow up in this odd environment where males are more sought after because they can earn more and of course expected to achieve and earn more all so they can buy stuff for themselves whilst they are alone. Sounds grand.

    Now that s
  • This is getting quite annoying and disappointing.

    See, back in the "good ol' days", we used to pay attention to market trends, gets news releases about a huge new storefront corporation opening, etc. Now it's starting to degrade to "News" being released about a single website/corporation's "records" being "broken". It's starting to actually sound like a broken record now.

    To stoop to the level of "News" release advertising to try and gather more uneducated peoples' purchases is different from SPAM.. how?

  • I thought all their fucking wealth was tied up in property at Vancouver, LA, SF, London, Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland? ,..........

    Fucking decimating a generation over here, fuck our politicians allowing this, fuck them to fucking death.

    I guess their wallets truly are endless.

  • Sellers raised their prices a couple of days before and for the "sale" they were slightly lowered. Some lowered their price by $0.01.

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