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Business

China's Singles Day boosts Alibaba business

This year's edition of Singles Day in China once again is set to become major success for Alibaba and other local online retailers. The buying frenzy is still seen by many as an anti-Valentine's Day event.

Shoppers spent over $10 billion (9.3 billion euros) on Alibaba's platforms during China's Singles Day event on Wednesday, breaking its own sales record of last year and reinforcing the e-commerce giant's status as the world's biggest online retail promotion company.

"The whole world will witness the power of Chinese consumption this November 11," Alibaba Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang said in a statement.

The firm saw more than 70 percent of its sales come from its mobile sites, indicating that both online shopping and smartphone use had become ingrained habits among Chinese customers.

Rivals profiting, too

Watch video 02:21

China's stalling economic growth

Singles Day started in the 1990s as a sort of anti-Valentine's Day where people would celebrate being single. In 2008, Alibaba started promoting the day as an opportunity for single people to buy discounted goods online to treat themselves. Since then, other e-commerce firms have jumped on the bandwagon.

Alibaba rival JD.com, for instance, reported Wednesday it had already received more than 10 million orders.

Singles Day receives official support from the government in Beijing, which is trying to

transform the country's growth model

into a more sustainable one driven by domestic consumption.

hg/pad (AFP, dpa)

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