Alibaba hits a record $25.3bn in sales on Singles' Day

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Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's Singles' Day generated a record 168.2 billion yuan (.3 billion) in sales to shoppers from at least 225 countries and regions.

Singles Day - an informal holiday for singletons - has become China's equivalent of Black Friday.

Alibaba's Singles Day, the annual shopping event invented by China's e-commerce giant, posted 43% sales growth from a year earlier to a record $25.4 billion as mobile users snapped up bargains. Here the sales since the beginning of the week until the main event have been excluded. Mobile transactions made up 90% of sales during the day-long event, with as much as 97% of orders coming from mobile devices in the first minute, Yahoo! Analysts have come forward to outline that it exceeds the combined sales for Cyber Monday and Black Friday in the United States.

". Based on the reported Singles Day growth, we remain comfortable with our 3Q18 (December quarter) China retail commerce revenue estimate of $9.44B (+54% y/y forex neutral)". At its peak, the company's processors handled 256,000 transactions per second.

The e-commerce company saw sales rise 40% this year, an increase of $7.5bn on 2016. The company is also converting 100,000 retail outlets into so-called smart stores.

Indian students' flow to United States grew by 12%, a three-year low
Their numbers have continued to grow, but at a much slower rate than in previous years. China had a total of 350,755 students, registering an increase of 6.8 per cent.

Saturday's sale netted Lazada a pretty respectable $123 million in sales, or 6.5 million items, almost three times last year's performance. Brands including Levis and L'Oreal are taking part.

JD is expanding rapidly into offline stores and overseas markets, as rival Alibaba continues to invest heavily in logistics and retail alongside its marketplace business, edging further into JD's territory. "The dollar figure was up more steeply due to the strength of the yuan against the greenback this year".

To see more about these major players, check out the infographic.

Incidentally, Lazada is 83%-owned by Alibaba, following a $1 billion deal announced in June to up its stake from 51%.

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