During China’s annual Singles Day shopping blitz on November 11th, Taobao, China’s leading e-commerce marketplace, gained up RMB 1 billion ($164 million) in mobile purchases from over 14 million user accounts. Taobao took just over four minutes to complete RMB 100 million ($16.4 million) in mobile purchases. Mobile sales volume also reached RMB 2 billion ($328 million).
November 11, also known as Singles Day, is the biggest shopping day of the year in China. Sales are ongoing for the entire 24-hour period at both major and minor retailers across the country. Taobao’s massive influx of mobile shoppers shows how quick the Chinese have been to adapt to mobile trends. Last year on Single’s Day, RMB 960 million ($158 million) worth of mobile purchases were made in the entire 24 hours. This year, it only took one hour to beat that record. By the time today is over, Taobao expects total mobile sales to be five to ten times more than last year.
Last year, total sales through Alibaba’s third-party payment system Alipay reached RMB 19.1 billion ($3.1 billion) on Single’s Day. This year, estimates lie somewhere in between RMB 30 billion and RMB 50 billion ($4.9 billion and $8.2 billion). Alibaba, which owns Taobao, is the main player responsible for building what is becoming known as the “Black Friday” of China. Alibaba’s Tmall has also fared well so far, with $500 million spent in the first 20 minutes after midnight.