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Russians Break Shopping Records on Chinese Singles’ Day

Russians made 30 million purchases on Chinese platform AliExpress in 24 hours.

AliExpress Russia is the Russian version of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba's retail empire. Marco Verch / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Russian shoppers have embraced this year’s record-breaking Singles’ Day online sale — the biggest single shopping day of the year — as never before.

In total, Russians spent 17.2 billion rubles ($267 million) on AliExpress, the Russian platform of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, over the 24 hour shopping bonanza — a record high, and the first time the company has released such data about sales in Russia, local media reported.

Singles Day, a Chinese celebration which takes place on Nov. 11, has ballooned in recent years, overtaking Black Friday as the world’s biggest shopping event. Globally, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba continued its 11-year record-setting streak, booking sales in excess of $38 billion.

AliExpress Russia said more than five million Russian shoppers made a total of 30 million purchases through the platform on Singles’ Day, with the average shopper splurging around 3,440 rubles ($53). 

The Russian arm is a joint venture between China’s Alibaba Group, Russia’s Mail.Ru, telecoms provider Megafon and the Russian Direct Investment Fund.

The record sales come on the same day new data from market researchers Neilsen showed that consumer confidence in Russia jumped to a four-year high in the third quarter as low inflation buoyed sentiment among shoppers.

Around one in six of the purchases made by Russians on the AliExpress platform on Singles’ Day were with companies and sellers based in Russia, while the vast majority were with foreign sellers.

The most popular products sold around the world were the iPhone XR, iLife robot vacuum cleaner and the 50-inch Skyworth TV, Alibaba said.

Separate data from Yandex Kassa, the online payment service of Russian tech giant Yandex, said sales using its software through all Chinese online retailers jumped 17-fold on Singles’ Day.

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