In a monumental e-commerce splurge, Chinese consumers bought a whopping US$9.3 billion in goods on Alibaba Group’s sites on Tuesday, as part of a major online shopping festival that took the country’s Internet market by storm. Local e-commerce giant Alibaba tallied the final figure Wednesday at midnight local time for what’s known as the Singles’ Day holiday in China, an annual event where online retail sites in the country offer big discounts on products.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. set a record Tuesday on China’s largest online shopping day as its marketplaces hosted $9.3 billion in sales, even though the rate of growth was slower than last year. One of the challenges for the Chinese e-commerce company after September’s $25 billion initial public offering of stock, the world’s largest IPO, is living up to high expectations among investors and analysts. As Alibaba seeks to continue to expand, the e-commerce company is pursuing more alliances with other major technology companies. It is in discussions with Apple Inc. to team up in mobile payments in China, and a possible scenario is for Alibaba’s financial affiliate to provide back-end services for Apple’s Apple Pay payment system, Executive Vice Chairman Joe Tsai said in an interview Tuesday. That could entail iPhone users in China paying for goods with Apple Pay using money from their Alipay accounts, he said. “We are positive about the potential cooperation, but it depends on the details being worked out,” Mr. Tsai said.