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China hosts the world’s biggest online shopping spree

13 November 2014 - 12:36 by Mike Price

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Singles Day has become a huge hit in China ever since it emerged as a trend in the 1990s. And while it was originally all about unmarried people drawing attention to their lifestyles, it has become a major event for retailers, with more spent shopping online over the course of November 11th, than at any other point in the year.

Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba, has made a lot of money out of Singles’ Day in recent years, launching a wide array of sales, discounts and offers to coincide with the event and get people to part with their cash, according to the Mirror.

This year was no different, but the rise of the e-commerce spree has been so significant that Alibaba alone managed to rack up $8.6 billion (£5.4 billion) in sales on Singles’ Day 2014. Just 20 minutes after the first offers went live, it had passed the billion dollar mark, which is a little more than the site made over the entire day back in 2011.

This kind of expenditure is only really possible in a country like China, where the population is so high. But even so, it is an impressive figure and one which puts the amount spent via safe shopping online in the UK on busy days like Cyber Monday into perspective.

No doubt retailers in the UK will be paying attention to the power that Singles’ Day has over consumers in China, perhaps with a view to bringing the event to our shores and creating another point in the year at which the urge to spend is heightened.

Of course, singletons and those in relationships alike can already take advantage of a wide range of deals, thanks to Britain’s bustling e-commerce market this month.