China's JD.com smashes through its Singles Day record with $48.7 billion in sales and counting

  • Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has so far racked up 311.4 billion yuan ($48.6 billion) in sales across its platforms during the Singles Day shopping event, smashing through its record last year.
  • There are still several hours left of Singles Day this year with JD's sales ending at midnight China time on Friday so that transaction volume will increase.
  • While it traditionally was a 24 hour flash-sale type of event, Singles Day has got longer each year which has allowed e-commerce players to grow their sales.

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  • 9618-HK
  • BABA

GUANGZHOU, China — Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com has racked up 311.4 billion yuan ($48.6 billion) in sales across its platforms as of 14:09 p.m. Beijing time during the Singles Day shopping event, smashing through its record last year.

The figure JD.com released is referred to as transaction volume. It is the amount of money that is transacted across its e-commerce platforms and does not directly translate into revenue for the company — and it does not take into account returned items.

Still, it's an indication of the appetite from shoppers on Singles Day or Double 11, a major shopping event in China that eclipses Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the U.S. in terms of sales.

Last year, JD's transaction volume totaled 271.5 billion yuan. There are still several hours left of Singles Day this year with JD's sales ending at midnight China time on Friday, so that transaction volume will increase.

JD rival Alibaba has not released any figures for transactions across its platforms yet.

Alibaba began the Singles Day event in 2009 but now retailers across the country are all involved, offering huge discounts to tempt consumers into buying goods.

While it was traditionally a 24-hour flash-sale type of event, Singles Day has gotten longer each year.

JD had a pre-sale period from Oct. 20 to Oct. 31, before official sales began immediately to continue until midnight on Friday. The longer sales period is part of the reason JD has been able to grow its transaction volume this year.

This year's Double 11 has taken on a different feel under the specter of China's crackdown on its domestic technology sector, concerns about economic growth, and President Xi Jinping's push toward more moderate wealth for all, or "common prosperity."

In an interview with CNBC recorded ahead of Singles Day, the CEO of JD's retail business told CNBC that "consumer demand keeps increasing."

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