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Business trends

Alibaba Singles Day volume reaches record $30.7bn

China's largest online sale boosts transaction value 26% year-on-year

Alibaba touts the 213.5 billion yuan in sales it rang up during this year's Singles Day event, which concluded at midnight, Nov. 12.    © AFP/Jiji

SHANGHAI -- Chinese online retailer Alibaba Group Holding logged a record 213.5 billion yuan ($30.7 billion) in sales during its Singles Day online event, up 26% from a year ago.

The growth rate slowed from the previous year, but the sheer scale of the increase once again reflected the company's clout in China's consumer market.

Appearing at an event in Shanghai earlier today, Alibaba Group Holding CEO Daniel Zhang said collaboration between online and physical stores expanded this year, and that the significant increase in the company's transaction volume is a testament to the fact that online retail has reached a viable level of acceptance in China.

This year's Singles Day transaction volume grew less than last year, when the rate was 39%, but the yuan value went well above 200 billion. Last year, there was 168 billion yuan worth of purchases.

This year's transaction volume includes figures for Lazada Group, an Alibaba unit operating online retail services in six Southeast Asian countries.

Zhang said Alibaba aims to make Singles Day a global event.

Other e-commerce companies also boosted sales through the blockbuster event. JD.com, the second largest after Alibaba, reported 159.8 billion yuan as its value of transactions, the largest on record.

Alibaba's Zhang told foreign reporters on Sunday that the trade war between the U.S. and China is hurting both countries, especially in business-to-business transactions. But Alibaba is not affected because it deals with consumers, he said.

At the China International Import Expo, which ended on Saturday, Chinese President Xi Jinping said China's imports of goods and services will exceed $40 trillion in the next 15 years.

As if in response to Xi's prediction, Alibaba said it will purchase $200 billion worth of imports in the coming five years.

Zhang said Alibaba is receiving a big hand from the Chinese government and that it will play an important role in China's shift from an export-oriented economy to a domestic demand-driven economy.

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