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New record for Alibaba Singles' Day

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 - 02:06

Alibaba says more than $6 billion of goods have been sold so far during its annual Singles' Day online shopping frenzy. As Tara Joseph reports customers are jumping on heavily discounted goods sending sales surging past 2013's record.

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Mission control for China's online shopping empire. After stunning investors with the world's biggest IPO - Alibaba put on a mega online retail sale on Tuesday - Singles Shopping Day for the fifth year running. First dreamt up as an anti-Valentines Day event for singletons - Alibaba projects that in 24-hours on the date 11/11 it will sell 8-billion dollars worth of goods on its virtual mall websites. That figure dwarfing the just 1.735 billion dollars last counted up on US Cyber Monday last year. Singles Day has become too big to ignore - pressuring retailers and brands to get on board with hefty discounts. Here an underwear retailer builds a shrine featuring Jack Ma for the big online sales day - praying for good fortune and fat profits - online. Reuters correspondent Adam Jourdan is in Hangzhou - site of Alibaba headquarters: (SOUNDBITE)(English) REUTERS REPORTER ADAM JOURDAN SAYING "One of the things that you really see from this sort of event today is the popularity of e-commerce in China. Certainly it's something that's here to stay. Increasing numbers of Chinese people are moving from the old fashioned bricks and mortar shops, they're going online to places like Alibaba to competitors like Jingdong. the old style big box shops like Sunning and Gomm here are having to do the same. They are following Alibaba's lead and this sort of event is going to reinforce it." For retailers however - there is a downside to all this fast and furious selling online. Merchants telling Reuters they felt pressure from Alibaba's Tmall to boost the day's figures with heavy discounts. And on Tmall merchants say that if they don't price products lower than in their stores on rival sites - Alibaba pushes them down the page. However pressured retailers may feel with China's slowing economy - The online retail boom shows capitalism is alive and thriving in a communist nation.

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New record for Alibaba Singles' Day

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 - 02:06