The annual Singles' Day shopping festival, launched by Alibaba's e-commerce platform, enters its 12th year. Let's take a glimpse of this year's event.
This year marks the largest Singles' Day shopping festival on Tmall, with a record 290,000 brands participating and more than 14 million types of commodities offering discounts, according to the company.
From Nov. 1 to 12:45 a.m. Thursday, sales of 411 small and medium brands with turnover exceeding 1 million yuan (about 156,000 U.S. dollars) during last year's event on Tmall, surpassed the 10-million yuan threshold.
The number of brands that saw a turnover of more than 100 million yuan on Tmall reached 382 during the period, including Huawei, Apple and Chinese sportswear brand Erke.
"The sales are crazy," said Shen Donglai, co-founder of domestic cosmetics brand SpaChina, which is participating in the Singles' Day shopping festival for the third time.
Between 8 p.m. Wednesday and 2:09 p.m. Thursday, the total value of orders on JD.com, another Chinese e-commerce giant, hit a new record of over 311.4 billion yuan.
This is also the greenest Singles' Day shopping festival on JD.com, which introduced various measures, including developing recyclable packaging, deploying new-energy cargo vans and using photovoltaic power generation in warehousing, to lower carbon emissions and the impact on environment. As a result, the amount of carbon emissions slashed stood at 26,000 tonnes as of Thursday noon.
This year's Singles Day shopping festival on Thursday featured no flashy discounts or star-studded performances.
Instead, companies pointed to inclusive growth and eco-friendliness while taking the Nov 11 shopping extravaganza into its 12th year, and some consumers opted for more rational shopping.
In a departure from the previous festivals, Alibaba did not disclose gross merchandise volume via its plethora of platforms halfway through the event.
It did, however, emphasize its role in empowering small and medium-sized brands, saying they have "leapfrogged" in sales.
Chinese labels are also gaining traction among overseas buyers, with sportswear brand Erke recording sevenfold sales growth to foreign markets via Tmall and Taobao during this year's campaign.
Meanwhile, some customers called for rational shopping.
"I am getting sick of the sophisticated gameplay of winning coupon rebates," said Hong Wei, an accounting specialist in Shanghai. "I buy what I need, and I will not fall for marketing stunts."
The Chinese commercial calendar is being adopted in Spain, partly due to the economic impulse that online platforms such as AliExpress are giving to the Spanish economy, a Spainish professor told Xinhua.
Like Black Friday two weeks later, Singles' Day is especially popular in Spain, which has briefly overtaken the United States as the second-largest market for AliExpress' online sales -- behind Russia.
Eduardo Irastorza, a professor at the OBS Business School of Barcelona, described AliExpress' strategy as a "resounding success."
AliExpress said that on this "Singles' Day," the number of Spanish businesses participating in the event is 10 percent higher than in 2020, with 11,000 sellers offering 28 percent more products.