Nov. 11 (UPI) — Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba Group Holding said total sales reached a record-breaking $70.9 billion during this year’s Singles’ Day, an annual discount shopping festival in China that included a gala and a concert featuring Katy Perry.
The online sales event that began Nov. 1 and concluded late Wednesday included deep discounts on everyday products to high-end merchandise highly sought after by Chinese consumers, the South China Morning Post reported.
Global brands including Apple, Nike and Adidas, and cosmetics companies L’Oréal, Estée Lauder and Lancôme each exceeded $15 million in sales by Wednesday on the Alibaba platform, according to the report.
Other Chinese e-commerce sites, including JD.com, reported high demand for consumer tech products such as 5G smartphones. Sales of 5G phones were up eleven-fold on JD.com since Nov. 1, the Post reported.
On Tuesday evening, Perry sang three songs during Alibaba’s Singles’ Day event. The concert took place virtually amid the coronavirus pandemic and included Chinese artists.
The success of Singles’ Day in China is an indicator China’s economy is back on track, researchers say.
“China’s economy has seen a strong recovery and Chinese consumers’ purchase behaviors have already returned to pre-pandemic levels, if not higher,” Xiaofeng Wang, a Forrester analyst said, according to CNN on Wednesday.
Market observers say the sales event appeals to consumers of all profiles.
“We see clearly that there are two groups of customers. One group is taking advantage of promotions, buying up necessary stocks for the future,” said Sean Shen, an analyst with Ernst & Young, according to the Post. “A different group of customers want high-quality products in the premium segment because of the travel ban this year.”
Alibaba founder Jack Ma has been in the spotlight following the suspended IPO of Ant Group, a financial technology firm that is a third owned by Alibaba. Chinese regulators cited “significant changes in the regulatory environment” for the decision. The initial public listing would have raised $34.5 billion, and would have been valued $313 billion, according to CNBC.