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Singles Day goes global, breaks records

By He Wei in Shanghai | | Updated: 2017-11-12 03:51

Bargain-hunters splurged a record 168.2 billion yuan ($25.3 billion)during this year's Singles Day, the world's largest daylong discount gala, as e-commerce giant Alibaba Group took the online shopping spree to physical stores and beyond borders, banking on China's technological prowess.

Spending surged 39.3 percent at 2017's sale - the ninth iteration of the event -as consumers worldwide scooped up discounted apparel, mobile phones, imported lobster and infant formula from 140,000 brands that dished out promotions during the annual jamboree.

The tech behemoth broke last year's 120.7 billion-yuan high-water mark shortly after midday transactions, and gained fresh steam as overseas shoppers joined the fray from Saturday afternoon for good deals from China.

Expanding at a faster-than-expected pace, that sheer number eclipsed the combined sales of Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States last year.

The country's clout in mobile payments and intelligent logistics has bolstered the stellar growth, said Matthew Crabbe, Asia Pacific research director at consultancy Mintel.

For instance, popular mobile wallet Alipay processed deals at a peak rate of 256,000 transactions per second in some 200 countries and regions, according to Alibaba, while robots and algorithms accelerated parcel distribution even in the most complex road networks at home and abroad.

The tech giant also used virtual reality dressing rooms and interactive fashion shows to better coordinate and integrate online and offline commercial resources.

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