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Singles' Day spurs industry rally

Updated: 2013-11-25 07:51
By Li Fusheng and Han Tianyang ( China Daily)

Buyers finding deals not just on romantic items, automobiles, too

It has become an increasingly common practice in recent years for Chinese to celebrate Nov 11 as "Singles' Day".

Singles' Day spurs industry rally

Today, Chinese and foreign automakers are shifting their focus to the growing online market. Shanghai GM sold some 2,000 units on Tmall from Oct 14 to Nov 11. [Photo/CFP]

Ever since e-commerce giant Alibaba launched its first Singles' Day sales campaign in 2009 on its online platforms Taobao and Tmall, the holiday has grown into one of the biggest sales days for the nation's online retailers.

Singles' Day spurs industry rally

In addition to bras and lingerie - two items that reportedly saw the best sales at the two sites this year - more and more people are purchasing larger and more expensive items, such as cars.

Shen Enhua, a public relations manager at Tmall, said dealers at the website sold 10,700 motor vehicles from Oct 14 to Nov 11, five times the number sold last year, with combined sales revenue hitting about 800 million yuan ($131.28 million).

He said some 1,700 dealers representing 16 brands participated in this year's campaign, making it the largest ever since the first auto brand appeared on the business-to-customer portal Tmall in 2010.

"This reflects automakers' growing recognition of and support for online sales. You see we have not only Chinese brands, such as Geely and BAIC, but also joint venture and overseas brands, including Buick, Shanghai Volkswagen, Citroen and Skoda," Shen said.

He said Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobile Co Ltd, Shanghai GM and Geely Group each sold more than 2,000 units during the promotion.

Several auto portals in the country followed suit by launching online sales campaigns this year.

Major players include bitauto.com, autohome.com.cn, and auto.sohu.com.

Statistics from the three websites show their orders on Nov 11 totaled $3.85 billion.

If they are filled, the orders will generate sales revenue nearly 30 times the amount car dealers realized at Tmall.

Website autohome.com .cn won 17,776 orders from potential buyer\s and by Nov 13 a total of 3,500 orders had been finalized at its partner 4S stores.

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