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Globalization of 'singles day' shopping to bring profound changes in world economy



China’s online shopping carnival on the “Singles Day”, or November 11, notched up a new sales record. The focal point of this year’s bonanza was not just the staggering sales figure but also the globalization of the world’s biggest shopping spree.
 
“We held the Singles Day global shopping festival show this year in Beijing. In the future, we will move the festival to Chile, Paris, New York, Belgium and everywhere in the world,” said Jack Ma, founder and CEO of China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba. It won’t take long to fulfill Ma’s dream given Alibaba’s explosive growth speed. But how will this global shopping extravaganza will impact China’s and world's economy?
 
The turnover on Alibaba’s Tmall platform surged to over 91 billion yuan on 11/11, thanks to consumers from 232 countries and regions, according to the company’s statistics. The platform boasts over 5,000 foreign retailers.
 
How does the online shopping festival contribute to China’s economy? Chinese media summed it up in two points. First, the e-commerce platform, tapping the potential of Chinese purchasing power, will play a bigger role in fueling the domestic demand. Second, compared to the brick-and-mortar business, the online business model gives a shot in the arm to the small and medium-sized entrepreneurs, which also boosts employment rate. That is why Premier Li Keqiang sent personal congratulations to Alibaba’s Ma on 11/11.
 
This year, Alibaba unveiled its overseas shopping section, which generated 54,000 orders and 2,200 million yuan worth of merchandise abroad as well as in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Malaysia and Singapore saw their transaction volumes soar by 215 percent.
 
The growth attested to the globalization of the 11/11 shopping festival, which will bring two changes for consumers and retailers.
 
First, Chinese consumers will get access to more foreign brands and retailers with lower price and faster delivery. America’s Macy’s, for example, opened its store on Alibaba this time. It took only 33 hours for the deep ocean lobster to be caught in Canada and delivered to Shanghai, one Chinese netizen said on Weibo. Chinese can now buy duty-free goods online.
 
Also, as Alibaba pushes forward its global strategy, overseas consumers will also have easier access to Chinese goods.
 
Second, Ma owed the success of 11/11 shopping extravaganza to the concerted efforts of retailers, payment unit, logistics, customer service, telecommunications and e-commerce platform. The concerted efforts will in turn improve the infrastructure involved in the business.
 
Alibaba’s efforts in turning the domestic shopping festival into a global shopping carnival deserve credits. The new international trade and logistics system will definitely reshape the world’s economy.

(The article is translated by Wu Jie.)


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