NYSE to ring bell in China for 11/11

Updated: 2015-11-10 08:48

By HONG XIAO in New York(China Daily USA)

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New York Stock Exchange President Thomas Farley will go to China to ring the opening bell on Wednesday in celebration of Alibaba's annual 11.11 Global Shopping Festival.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd Executive Chairman Jack Ma and CEO Daniel Zhang will participate in the ceremony in the Water Cube (National Aquatics Center) in Beijing, along with eight honorees recognized by Alibaba for their philanthropy, environmental awareness and community-building.

"This day is not just the largest shopping day in the world, but a demonstration of the scale and impact of our global ecosystem," Ma said in a statement. "This festival is a thermometer for the Chinese economy, allowing the world to see the consumption potential of China and the future opportunities for SME (small- and medium-sized enterprises) around the world."

The 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, also referred to as "Singles Day", began in 2009 with the goal of building consumer awareness of online shopping in China.

During the six years since its inception, 11/11 has become the largest shopping day in the world. According to Alibaba, $157 million in purchases were made in the first three minutes last year, and total sales were $9.3 billion.

Sales for this year's 11.11 are expected to increase despite China's economy slowing, according to Xiafeng Wang, a senior analyst at Forrester Research in Singapore.

In an e-mail to China Daily, Wang explained why sales are expected to rise:

Chinese consumers are increasingly becoming "super shoppers" who regularly buy online; more and various e-commerce players are participating; promotions will be more aggressive; retailers are providing more options, such as cross-border shopping services; and the growing maturity of online/mobile payments allows customers to buy first and pay later.

Singles Day is the world's biggest online retail-sales day, larger than the US' Black Friday (day after Thanksgiving) and Cyber Monday (four days after Thanksgiving) combined, according to Forrester.

Total sales for Singles Day in 2014 were more than $9 billion, with $2 billion in the first hour; 43 percent of all sales were made from mobile phones, according to Forrester data.

Alibaba said this year's event will feature more than 6 million products from some 40,000 merchants (compared with 27 in 2009) and more than 30,000 brands from 25 countries, including the United States, China, Japan, South Korea and Europe. The company said that 180,000 brick-and-mortar retailers also will participate in 330 cities across China.

China Post, the country's postal service, estimates that 760 million packages will be generated by Singles Day, an increase from 540 million last year.

The NYSE opening bell ceremony will begin at 9:26 a.m. EST (the market opens at 9:30), and a live stream will be on the NYSE website (www.nyse.com).