Asia

Chinese e-shoppers spend billions on Singles Day

  • In this Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016 photo, Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson, left, and Alibaba Group Chairman Jack Ma, center, attend an evening gala on the eve of the Singles Day online shopping festival in Shenzhen in southern China's Guangdong province. China's online shoppers are engaging in a rare bright spot for its cooling economy — a quirky holiday dubbed "Singles Day" that has grown into the world's busiest day for e-commerce. The country's biggest e-commerce brand, Alibaba Group, said Friday sales by the thousands of retailers on its platforms passed 62.6 billion yuan ($9 billion) in the first 10 hours of the day. (Chinatopix Via AP)

    In this Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016 photo, Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson, left, and Alibaba Group Chairman Jack Ma, center, attend an evening gala on the eve of the Singles Day online shopping festival in Shenzhen in southern China's Guangdong province. China's online shoppers are engaging in a rare bright spot for its cooling economy — a quirky holiday dubbed "Singles Day" that has grown into the world's busiest day for e-commerce. The country's biggest e-commerce brand, Alibaba Group, said Friday sales by the thousands of retailers on its platforms passed 62.6 billion yuan ($9 billion) in the first 10 hours of the day. (Chinatopix Via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Workers at the ZTO Express logistic delivery centre process packages one day before China's Singles Day, traditionally the busiest day for online shopping in Beijing, China, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016.  China's so-called Singles Day, is traditionally the world's biggest online shopping day of the year, and this year is widely expected to be even busier than normal. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

    Workers at the ZTO Express logistic delivery centre process packages one day before China's Singles Day, traditionally the busiest day for online shopping in Beijing, China, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. China's so-called Singles Day, is traditionally the world's biggest online shopping day of the year, and this year is widely expected to be even busier than normal. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)  (The Associated Press)

  • Workers at the ZTO Express logistic delivery centre process packages one day before China's Singles Day, traditionally the busiest day for online shopping in Beijing, China, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016.  China's so-called Singles Day, is traditionally the world's biggest online shopping day of the year, and this year is widely expected to be even busier than normal.  (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

    Workers at the ZTO Express logistic delivery centre process packages one day before China's Singles Day, traditionally the busiest day for online shopping in Beijing, China, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. China's so-called Singles Day, is traditionally the world's biggest online shopping day of the year, and this year is widely expected to be even busier than normal. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)  (The Associated Press)

China's online shoppers are engaging in a rare bright spot for its cooling economy — a quirky holiday dubbed "Singles Day" that has grown into the world's busiest day for e-commerce.

The country's biggest e-commerce brand, Alibaba Group, said Friday sales by the thousands of retailers on its platforms passed 62.6 billion yuan ($9 billion) in the first 10 hours of the day. Rivals including JD.com, VIP.com and Suning offered bargains on clothing, smartphones, travel packages and other goods to attract shoppers.

The spending gives a boost to the ruling Communist Party's efforts to nurture consumer-based economic growth and reduce reliance on trade and investment. E-commerce sales in China rose by 26.1 percent in the first nine months of the year.