Even in a down economy, China’s consumers are flexing their wallets.
During the early hours of an annual 24-hour online sale, Chinese consumers were buying nearly $2 million worth of goods every minute.
Chinese online shopping sites Tmall.com and sister Taobao.com — both are part of the Alibaba Group — rang up about $3.1 billion in sales during Sunday’s annual Shopping Festival. That is more than double the $1.25 billion garnered in the United States during last year’s Cyber Monday — the Monday after Thanksgiving — according to comScore.
In an Alibaba blog post, Tmall spokeswoman Florence Shih said the results showed the growing spending power of Chinese consumers. And, she said, it is “testament to the fact that e-commerce is becoming an accepted way for more and more Chinese consumers to buy everything from household goods to cars.”
Some 10,000 brands — from Nike to Toys ‘R’ Us — and shopping sites such as Dangdang and Yihaodian participated in the festival. They offered discounts of at least 50 percent on items during a 24-hour period.
The spending spree also highlighted the dramatic growth of shopping through mobile devices. According to Alipay — an online payment system similar to PayPal — one out of three Chinese shoppers made purchases through their phones. Last year, one out of five shoppers used their phones get deals during the festival.