Alibaba reports record $9 billion Singles' Day sales

Tue Nov 11, 2014 12:08pm EST
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By Adam Jourdan

HANGZHOU China (Reuters) - E-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N: Quote) reported more than $9 billion in sales on China's Singles' Day on Tuesday, illustrating the buying power of the Chinese consumer and the importance of the event in the retail calendar.

Real-time figures on a giant screen at Alibaba's sprawling Hangzhou campus surged past 2013's record to 57.1 billion yuan ($9.3 billion) just after midnight after Chinese and overseas shoppers snapped up heavily discounted goods online.

The shopping day, similar to Cyber Monday and Black Friday in the United States, comes less than eight weeks after Alibaba's record $25 billion public share listing in New York.

Founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma said earlier on Tuesday that Alibaba's financial services arm, Alipay, also "will definitely go public", probably in China.

Ma later spoke briefly to reporters, saying he felt a bit nervous" due to the higher pressures and expectations now that Alibaba is a listed company.

Alibaba turned Singles' Day, a Nov. 11 Chinese response to Valentine's Day, into an online shopping festival in 2009.

It copyrighted the "Double 11" term three years later after recognizing its commercial potential.

"You're seeing the unleashing of the consumption power of the Chinese consumer," Joe Tsai, Alibaba's executive vice chairman, told reporters.   Continued...

Alibaba Group CEO Jonathan Lu (L) and Alibaba Group COO Daniel Zhang pose for a photo at the company's headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province November 11, 2014. REUTERS/Aly Song