COVID-19 notwithstanding, customers made the most of Alibaba Singles’ Day celebration discounts with the company logging more than $56 billion worth orders till November 11. It also saw record peak of 583,000 orders per second, Reuters reported.
Calculating gross merchandise volume (GMV) for a 11-day period instead of 24 hours, the company surpassed 372.3 billion Yuan or $56.3 billion till November 11, Alibaba said.
This is being viewed as another indicator of China’s “economic rebound” from the pandemic after the coronavirus emerged in Wuhan last year, as Alibaba is not the only player seeing big numbers. Douyin, JD.com Incorporated and Pinduoduo Incorporated are among the other companies hosting Singles Day events.
JD.com said it recorded 200 billion Yuan worth sales in the first nine minutes on November 11; while electronics shop Suning.com (part owned by Alibaba) saw 5 billion Yuan sales in first 19 minutes of the day.
Analysts said sales have jumped as travel restrictions on Chinese ensured that appetite for luxury brands was met domestically, diverting consumers tourism from US and European brands such as Harrods and Nordstroms.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
The e-commerce giant held its mega shopping festival early this year, with discount periods lasting from November 1-3 and on November 11. It started the tradition in 2009. Last year’s GMV was $38.4 billion.Notably, this also comes a week after $76 billion in losses due to suspension of group company Ant Financial’s IPO. Alibaba owns a third of Ant.