Chinese shoppers have spent big over the Singles' Day shopping festival, showing the country's strong economic recovery following the COVID-19 epidemic.
Sales on Alibaba's e-commerce platform Tmall exceeded 372.3 billion yuan (56.29 billion U.S. dollars) between Nov. 1 and 12:30 a.m. on Nov. 11.
At the shopping peak, 583,000 orders were made in a single second on Tmall, setting a new online shopping record.
To cater to growing demand from Chinese consumers, Tmall launched this year's shopping festival early, with the first discount period running from Nov. 1 to Nov. 3 in addition to the normal full-day sales on Nov. 11.
More than 800 million shoppers, 250,000 brands and 5 million merchants have participated in this year's shopping spree, according to Tmall.
Weng Yi, a researcher with Chinese think tank Cathay Institute for Public Affairs, said this year's Singles' Day shopping spree could serve as a barometer for China's consumption, as the government pursues a "dual circulation" development pattern, where domestic and foreign markets can boost each other, with the domestic market as the mainstay.
"With overseas purchases hampered by the pandemic, the Singles' Day shopping carnival has offered an optimal opportunity for Chinese consumers to buy overseas products, and may significantly boost sales for global brands and merchants," Weng said.
E-commerce giant JD.com also scored big in the shopping extravaganza, with its sales topping 200 billion yuan (29.41 billion U.S. dollars) between Nov. 1 and 12:09 a.m. on Nov. 11.
Notably, sales of JD's fast-delivery grocery business soared a staggering 50 fold compared with the same period last year, while its sales of 5G smartphones spiked 11 fold.
Moreover, sales of imported products for new mothers and babies on JD doubled year on year and mobile phones offering optimal gaming experience grew by 160 percent.