Is Alibaba the Real China?

11/17/2014 12:01 am EST


Jim Jubak

Founder and Editor,

The Singles Day shopping record was broken by Alibaba with $9.3 billion in sales, notes MoneyShow's Jim Jubak who wonders what that means for the Chinese economy.

Well, the Chinese economy may be showing slower growth but you sure can't prove it from Alibaba (BABA) . The huge, I don't think we can start to call this a global e-commerce company, blew through the records set last year for Singles Day.

Singles Day is a huge shopping e-commerce shopping holiday in China. Everybody buys everybody else presents. Last year, the record for the day was $5.8 billion in sales. This is the largest Singles shopping day in the world. It dwarfs anything that happens in the US after Thanksgiving. Anyway, that record stood until about 1:30 in the afternoon and just got swamped.

We're talking about 168 million orders by that point. The final figure for the day was $9.3 billion and, interestingly enough, and good news for all the Alibaba shareholders, about 43% of this came from smartphone orders.

Alibaba clearly made its penetration into smartphones and, to continue that theme, the biggest single retailer was, let me make sure I've got the spelling of this or the pronunciation of this right in my Mandarin, it is Xiaomi, which is the big Chinese smartphone maker. They were the number one merchant site on Alibaba today on Singles Day.

So, if you're looking for the Chinese economy to collapse, clearly, it's not happening. If you're looking for it to slow, yes, I think you've got a case. If you're looking for it to prop up commodities, well, sales on Singles Day doesn't do very much for iron ore prices but Alibaba and Yahoo (YHOO), which is kind of its US surrogate, also rallied today, showed very, very strong results on the biggest shopping day in the world.

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