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US the top seller into China on Singles Day, say Alibaba, JD

Alibaba and JD said the US was the top seller of goods to China during the Singles’ Day shopping extravaganza that generated about $116 billion in merchandise volume for the pair.

Singles’ Day is usually a one-day sales event, the world’s biggest, eclipsing Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the US. Many online companies offer deals at the event.

This year, companies including Alibaba Group and JD offered promotions beginning as early as November 1 and ending at midnight on the 11th, with sales widely interpreted as indicative of China’s rebounding post-virus economy.

Customers, unable to travel abroad because of the Covid-19 pandemic, snatched up deals from brands including Huawei Technologies and Fast Retailing’s Uniqlo.

Alibaba generated gross merchandise volume (GMV) of US$75.28 billion. JD, which recorded $40.9 billion in GMV, told Reuters on Wednesday that best-selling products included Apple iPhones, L’Oreal’s Lancome toner and 60-inch smart LCD TVs from Sharp Corp.

Alibaba offered promotions in two windows starting November 1 but calculated GMV over 11 days. JD offered deals from November 1 through 11.

The event was overshadowed by news that China aimed to propose anti-monopoly rules for internet platforms.

Alibaba’s Hong Kong-listed stock, which took a beating when regulators scuppered the listing of fintech affiliate Ant Group, dropped another 10 per cent on Wednesday. It was up 3 per cent around midday Thursday.

Alibaba said other top-selling countries this year included Australia, Germany, Japan and South Korea. More than 470 firms exceeded $15 million in GMV.

Alibaba clocked GMV of $38.4 billion in a single day last year and said 299 brands surpassed $15 million in GMV, including Nestle and Under Armour.

  • Reporting by Brenda Goh, Josh Horwitz, and Sophie Yu

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