China Ecommerce Site Taobao Sells $3B in a Day

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Chinese singles have just given American Cyber Monday shoppers a run for their money, or actually a double run. The Chinese ecommerce site Taobao reported earning $3 billion in a single day for China’s “Double Eleven,” a Chinese holiday for singles similar to Valentine’s Day that’s celebrated on 11-11, according  to Tech in Asia. That’s more than twice America’s record of $1.25 billion on Cyber Monday in 2011, the ecommerce discount occasion that follows Black Friday.

Taoboa is owned by Alibaba, one of the world’s largest ecommerce entities. The company reported that it saw more merchants than ever take part in the sales day, with a total of 10,000 sellers participating in the sale, up from 2,200 last year. Mobile use is also on the uptick. About three PC users accounted for every mobile user, compared to last year’s ratio of five PC users to every mobile user. Nearly 7 million registered users logged into the mobile app and spent $16 million in the first hour.

While its true that two Chinese companies easily beat out the entire American ecommerce market for a 24 hour period, it’s worth noting that the Chinese ecommerce market is largely consolidated. Chinese retailers typically don’t establish their own ecommerce sites, and instead rely on Tmall, the most visited part of Taobao, to connect with online sales. While a few competitors such as 360Buy and DangDang exist, “they genuinely pale in comparison,” blogs Chris West, a British expatriate in Fuzhou, China who writes West is East. The feat does showcase the strength of China’s ecommerce market, however. In a single day, the company managed get a sixteenth of Amazon’s entire earnings of $48 million in 2011.

And Chinese ecomemerce is clearly growing. Last year’s “Double Sticks Day” saw $380 million in sales for Taoboa, so this year’s sales have grown to just over 360 percent. Taoboa ranks as the 13th most trafficked site in the world, according to Alexa.

The statistics are an eye opening view to the power of China’s online commerce. As the second largest economy, China is making leaps and strides, both in a gross domestic product and in online sales that make Amazon look like the little guy.