Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd says this year’s Singles’ Day shopping discounts have surpassed last year’s total of $9.3 billion.
The company started Singles’ day on November 11, 2009. That day in China is now the equivalent to the US version of Cyber Monday.
Research firm IDC says the company could bring in upwards of $13.8 billion this year.
“Alibaba is positioned as the number one player in the Chinese e-commerce market, so it has to be seen to be maintaining, or gaining ground really,” said Duncan Clark, chairman of Beijing-based tech consultancy BDA.
Singles’ Day actually started as a mock celebration for people who are not in relationships. It was a way for those individuals to splurge on themselves. However, it quickly turned into an all out day of discounts celebrated by the online e-commerce community.
Alibaba is expected to get a boost from sales this year by affiliates including brick-and-mortar retailer Suning Commerce Group Co. The company acquired a 20% stake in Suning Commerce this past August.
Alibaba says it is focused on international e-commerce this Singles’ Day. “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.
JD.com, a rival to Alibaba has not been happy with Singles’ Day. The company filed a complaint with Chinese regulators saying Alibaba was “forcing merchants” to exclusively choose its site for promotional activities.