The clouds that loom in the horizon of the Chinese economy did not spoil the Day of the Bachelor, the great celebration of consumerism in the Asian country. Millions of citizens of the Asian country waved their virtual purses on Sunday more than ever, something that was capitalized by the big e-commerce firms and particularly by Alibaba.
For the firm, beating its own sales record is a new demonstration of strength during its great annual event for the country, an indicator that the growing middle class and its purchasing power remain oblivious to the vagaries of the economy.
Only through the platforms of Alibaba, consumers purchased products worth 213.5 billion yuan (27.071 billion euros) in these 24 hours, 27% more than the figure recorded the previous year.
To get an idea of the magnitude of the expenditure, the figure is comparable to the size of Latvia’s economy, to the budgetary expenditure of the State this year in general public services and far exceeds the annual revenues of Mercadona in 2017 (21,000 million euros), the company that most bill in Spain.
It took just under 16 hours to surpass the sales record set last year, 168.2 billion yuan (21.33 billion euros at today’s exchange rate). The psychological threshold of the 1,000 million packages to be distributed (1,042 million in total) was also surpassed, a volume that according to Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, could become habitual for the company in a period of between five and ten years.
In this tenth celebration of Alibaba’s Bachelor’s Day, the discount campaign covers 180,000 local and international brands that try to sell their products through the platforms of this e-commerce giant, which has more than 600 million monthly users. The most frenetic activity was recorded during the first moments after midnight when the virtual carts filled with desired items – and sometimes planned for weeks began to charge.
The first 1,000 million euros in sales volume came in less than two minutes. And after just one hour had already been billed for 67.27 billion yuan (about 8.5 billion euros). The best-selling brands in those early days were Xiaomi, Apple (smartphones) and Dyson (home appliances).
The CEO of Alibaba, Daniel Zhang, called the day “great success” and predicted that in the next decade the event will continue to evolve. “We started with the computer and now we are in the era of mobile and interaction, the future will be artificial intelligence with new technologies that will transform business models and create new experiences for the consumer.” Zhang, who will take over from the charismatic Jack Ma next year as president of Alibaba, was the ideologist and promoter of the Single Day in 2009.
This annual event, originally conceived for singles to indulge, has over the years become, and for many analysts, an indicator of consumer confidence in the Asian country.
Some expected that the internal slowdown and the uncertainty caused by the trade war between China and the United States, whose negative effects are beginning to be felt in the form of a cooling of business investment will be passed on to consumers. Finally, it was not like that and millions of people showed that, at least for now, nothing prevents them from spending more and more money on a day whose collection seems to have no limit.