The annual Nov 11 shopping bonanza entered its final stretch at midnight Wednesday, with gross merchandise volume on platforms operated by Alibaba Group reaching 372.3 billion yuan ($56.4 billion) in the 10 days leading up to the event through its first 30 minutes. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

The annual Nov 11 shopping bonanza entered its final stretch at midnight Wednesday, with gross merchandise volume on platforms operated by Alibaba Group reaching 372.3 billion yuan ($56.4 billion) in the 10 days leading up to the event through its first 30 minutes.

Tmall, Alibaba”s business-to-customer site, saw 342 brands hit the 100 million yuan sales threshold from Nov 1 to the first 35 minutes of Nov 11. Among these, 13 brands, including Apple, Huawei and Midea, achieved 1 billion yuan.

For its twelfth edition, the traditionally 24-hour gala has been prolonged, with Alibaba adding a new shopping window from Nov 1 to Nov 3 offering similar preferential offers. The move was made in part to stimulate spending, as consumption was hindered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

GMV for Nov 11 last year was 268.4 billion yuan. But an apples-to-apples comparison is unlikely, given its extended duration this session.

Alibaba said some 250,000 brands joined the fray this year, bringing 16 million discounted items. The number of orders created at peak was 583,000 orders per second, backed by strong computing power to ensure smooth transactions.

Consultancy PwC expected the festival to draw over 800 million consumers and 5 million businesses, and said the shopping festival is set to become “the barometer of China’s continued economic recovery”.

“The ‘revenge buying’ spree following the COVID-19 and new consumption patterns, such as direct sales via live streaming and private domain operations, have driven demand and sales,” said Jennifer Ye, PwC consumer markets leader for the Chinese mainland.

Via China Daily

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