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Singles Day shows that the 'Alibaba effect' has global legs

China's online sales reach new records as services expand to cover nearly anything a regular store can

Singles Day transactions exceeded 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) in the first three minutes of sales on Nov. 11. (Photo by Daisuke Harashima)

SHANGHAI China's Singles Day festival on Nov. 11 generated a record 168.3 billion yuan ($25.3 billion) in sales on Alibaba's online platforms, up 39% from a year earlier, the e-commerce conglomerate said.

"More than $25 billion of [gross merchandise volume] in one day is not just a sales figure," Alibaba Group Holding CEO Daniel Zhang Yong said on Nov. 12, adding that the figure represents "the aspiration for quality consumption of the Chinese consumer, and it reflects how merchants and consumers alike have now fully embraced the integration of online and offline retail."

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