China’s Singles’ Day hits staggering new heights
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China’s Singles’ Day hits staggering new heights

China’s Singles’ Day – a kind of anti-Valentine’s, where singletons get together to party – is by far the world’s biggest Ecommerce event. It started in Chinese universities, when students noticed that the date 11 / 11 was a literal celebration of the number one, but it has since transformed into an online retail extravaganza, where special deals come hard and fast. This is down to Chinese Ecommerce giant Alibaba, which saw an opportunity and took it, but it has spread beyond that company to colonise the entire Chinese Ecommerce market. And this year, it became apparent that it dwarves its U.S. equivalents utterly.

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Sales at this year’s Singles’ Day rose 39% against the previous year. They hit a record peak of $25.3 billion in just 24 hours, easily beating the combined total of $6.5 billion for last year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the U.S. The day also showed a continuation in the story of Chinese mobile usage: this year, mobile penetration over the day came in at 90%. Last year it was 82%, and the year before, 68%.

Chinese Online Retailers are outperforming this year

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SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

Alibaba was the first, and is still the biggest, player in Singles’ Day. And even as other contenders grow their performance on the day (the only one big enough to challenge Alibaba in any meaningful way is JD.com) the most impressive statistics still come from the former platform. This year, it saw 256,000 transactions per second on its Tmall and Taobao platforms. And Cainiao, the company’s logistics network, processed 812 million packages. That’s up from 657 million the previous year.

Perhaps the best thing about China’s Ecommerce market is that while it is huge, it is also incredibly fast growing. At the end of 2016, China’s internet penetration rate was just 53.2% - in the U.S. and Europe, that figure hovers somewhere in the 80s. So there’s lots of room to grow, and Chinese consumers are doing it quickly, according to research firm eMarketer. The company says that, by 2020, the Chinese Ecommerce market will be worth $2,336 billion. That’s more than double North America ($520 billion) and Europe ($449 billion) combined.

Disclosure

Dominion holds a number of Chinese Ecommerce companies in its Global Trends Ecommerce funds, including Alibaba, Tencent, JD.com, Baidu, and Ctrip. 


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