Alibaba's first global double 11 online shopping festival moves into high gear

By Meng Jing ( ) Updated: 2014-11-10 22:34:26

More than 460 media organizations from China and abroad gathered Monday evening in Hangzhou city in East China's Zhejiang province, where the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is located, to witness the country's biggest online shopping festival.

Created in 2009 by e-commerce giant Alibaba on Nov 11, 11.11 or "singles day" has become China's - and perhaps the world's - largest online shopping event. The online sale originally was launched to tempt loveless single people into consoling themselves with some retail therapy, tempted by massive discounts by e-retailers.

Alibaba, which had a record breaking IPO in the US in September, rang up total sales of 35 billion yuan ($5.72 billion) with the 24-hour sale last year. About 13.7 million shoppers visited Alibaba's business-to-customer platform Tmall in the first minute of last year's Nov 11 shopping festival. The total transaction of the first minute was 117 million yuan.

Alibaba has expanded this year's online shopping festival into a global shopping carnival by helping Chinese shoppers purchase from overseas merchants and overseas buyers from China's.

To prepare for this year's event, which has a global scale, more than 10,000 employees from Alibaba have participated in the sleepless 24-hour sale to ensure there is no breakdown on the Internet, in technology or equipment.

More than 1.25 million deliverymen from 14 express companies are involved in the event this year.

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