Alibaba Singles' Day posts record sales

Alibaba Group Holding's Singles' Day shopping festival posted record sales of 540.3 billion yuan ($84.5 billion), offering China's largest e-commerce firm a much-needed boost following a year of heightened regulatory scrutiny.

Participants stand on stage while waiting for live updates of sales figures during Alibaba Group Holding's annual November 11 Singles' Day online shopping event in Shanghai on Nov. 11, 2018. Foto: Bloomberg photo by Giulia Marchi.

Sales at the end of Nov. 11 surpassed the 498.2 billion yuan official tally for 2020. The strong performance could ease concerns among investors grappling with a 30% slump in Alibaba's shares this year, which has seen the company hit with a record $2.8 billion antitrust fine and report its first revenue miss in two years.

Since its debut in 2009, Singles' Day has come to dwarf the U.S. Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales in both intensity and size. Alibaba has turned the event into one part showcase of commercialism and one part publicity blitz, featuring enormous discounts to encourage consumption as well as headline-grabbing appearances by celebrities such as Taylor Swift in previous years...

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