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Chinese shoppers break e-commerce spending record

12 November 2013 - 15:30 by Graham Miller

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While the 2nd of December is expected to be the UK's busiest day for online shopping, referred to as Cyber Monday, in China they have their rush a little earlier during an event known as Singles Day.

Taking place on the 11th of November, Singles Day is designed to allow those who are not married or in relationships to celebrate their lifestyle, with a combination of partying and retail therapy used, according to The Register.

Online retailer, Alibaba, reported that this year, Chinese consumers managed to spend the equivalent of £102.5 million in the first six minutes of Singles Day, through its Tmall e-commerce site.

With China's expanding middle class and improved infrastructure, shopping online is increasingly popular and an easy way for customers to get at products and services, particularly if they are in one of the nation's more isolated areas.

Alibaba said that hitting the £100 million plus mark had taken over half an hour back in 2012, so this year's Singles Day was an even bigger success and able to generate significant revenue for online retailers.

On November 11th last year, a total of £1.9 billion was spent via safe shopping online, which was a record at the time. And although the final results for Singles Day 2013 are not currently in, it is thought that a new record has been set yet again.

China may not yet be the world's leader in terms of online shopping, but it is expected to achieve this goal within the next two years. Analysts are expecting the total spend in 2015 to hit £1.8 trillion, which is a figure that few other nations would be able to top.

People in China are actually now more willing to buy items online than consumers in the UK, which is contributing to the rapid growth of the market.