11.11 Cyber Monday shopping frenzy in China breaks record

Sales for the online shopping festival in China hit more than doubled to RMB 19.1 billion (US$3.1 billion), more than last year's Cyber Monday figure.
Written by Liu Jiayi, Contributor

Online sales for China's two of the biggest online stores Taobao and Tmall hit RMB 30 billion (US$4.9 billion) in less than 21 hours and 20 minutes, according to Sina's report out on November 11, 2013.

People swamped the two online stores, both under the country's leading e-commerce company Alibaba, after this year's Nov 11 shopping festival launched in midnight. Discounts and promotions pushed the sales to over RMB 1 billion in just six minutes. Last year, it took 37 minutes, said Alibaba in a company report.

Monday's figure already beat last year's RMB 19.1 billion (US$3.1 billion) for Taobao and Tmall combined of US$1.98 billion.

The skyrocketing sales also put China's logistics network to the test, as the company expected earlier that over 200 million orders will be placed within 24 hours, said TechWeb. This year saw the debut of CAINIAO Network, a e-commerce data sharing and application platform-- a joint investment led by Alibaba. 

Other online stores trying to take their share of the pie by launching various promotions on the same day. However, according to a survey conducted by Sina, almost 60 percent of those who planned to shop on Nov 11 would go to Tmall and Taobao, while only 20 percent chose JD.com, 6 percent to Amazon, and 4 percent to Suning.

"If you look at the absolute value of the 11.11 day in terms of gross merchandise value for Tmall, it's just crazy,” said Serge Hoffman, partner at Bain & Company. "More and more consumers are joining the e-commerce party. With the penetration of advanced digital solutions like smartphones, this gives users almost 24/7 access to e-commerce," Hoffman said to Alibaba.

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