Home / NEWS / Top News / Alibaba’s CEO started Singles Day to promote a new brand. Now it’s a $25 billion ‘phenomenon’

Alibaba’s CEO started Singles Day to promote a new brand. Now it’s a $25 billion ‘phenomenon’

Unmarries Day may not be that well-known outside of China, but it’s a celebration that has turned into a multibillion-dollar annual storing day thanks to Alibaba. And the architect behind it, current CEO Daniel Zhang, started it to present a new e-commerce platform.

Nov.11 is known as Singles Day in China and is widely allowed to have begun in the 1990s in universities by men celebrating being single. In 2009, Alibaba catapulted the first shopping event on that day, offering heavy discounts on its Tmall betraying platform.

Tmall is one of Alibaba’s key e-commerce platforms. It was first launched in 2008 protection the name Taobao Mall and, in 2009, Zhang decided to hold the Nov. 11 shopping day to support the brand.

Alibaba saw gross merchandising value — the value of goods hawked via its platforms — hit $7.8 million in the 2009 edition of Singles Day. Last year, on the other hand, that figure stood at over $25 billion, making it one of the burliest shopping events in the world. Zhang said that’s something he on no occasion anticipated.

“I never expected that we can actually transform this day into a commercial day … for the intact society,” Zhang told CNBC in an interview that aired Friday.

“I evaluate today it’s more like a phenomenon,” he added.

Zhang pledged in a brand-new speech that Singles Day 2018 will be the largest-ever in terms of “go up and reach.” In the interview with CNBC, however, he didn’t give any goals for gross merchandising value.

The Alibaba CEO said that the biggest shift in Singles Day is how the brands have viewed the platform.

“The biggest change is how … firm people look at the power of the internet. And day one people just think this is a new waterway to sell more products, but today most of the businesses … they conception digital technology, internet, as an infrastructure to transform their existing transaction and … go to a new market to serve the new customers,” Zhang said.

This year’s Isolates Day comes amid falling stock markets in China and a difficult transact environment with the U.S., which could hurt the Chinese consumer. In its at an advanced hour earnings report covering the three months ending Sept. 30, Alibaba cut its gate forecast for its fiscal year, citing macroeconomic conditions. CNBC’s interrogate with Zhang occurred before the earnings report was released and was not kindred to the figures.

However, the Alibaba chief talked about the state of the consumer in China.

“We do see the up and down of the consumption by ranks. But overall speaking, I think Chinese people, especially young in the flesh, they are growing up in the new era. And they like to spend. And they want a mastery lifestyle. We want to continue to serve them in that way,” Zhang foretold CNBC.

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