Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba just celebrated its Global Shopping Festival –still mostly known by its former name Singles Day– on November 11, a day when the retailer offers Chinese consumers heavy discounts across brands and products from all around the world. The initiative’s warm-up was a gala celebrated in the hours leading up to midnight of November 11 and streamed live online and on mobile devices via Alibaba’s Group apps Tmall and Taobao and also Youku Tudou, the Chinese Youtube. High-profile guests ranged from basketball player Kobe Bryant to David and Victoria Beckham attended the event.

Venue of the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival gala.
© Alibaba
Venue of the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival gala.

Kobe Bryant at the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival gala.
© Alibaba
Kobe Bryant at the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival gala.


The day wrapped up with a total Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) settled through Alipay –payment platform affiliated with the group– of USD 17.8 billion, an increase of 32% compared to 2015, according to the company. From this amount, approximately 82% of the total GMV was achieved through mobile devices.

International brands and merchants keep gaining appeal, as 37% of total buyers purchased from foreign companies. Top US brands by GMV were Apple, Nike, New Balance and Skechers, while Siemens, Philips, Adidas and Jack & Jones lead the European front. Uniqlo and UGG are other fashion top-performers mentioned by Alibaba.

Alibaba is positioning itself as a dangerous competitor to other ecommerce behemoths like Amazon. Cainiao –Alibaba’s logistics arm– processed more than 657 million delivery orders. We'll have to wait for Amazon’s Black Friday 2016 (November 25) and Cyber Monday to compare the results.



Jack Ma (center), founder of the Alibaba Group.
© Alibaba
Jack Ma (center), founder of the Alibaba Group.