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Alibaba to take Singles Day international

Alibaba’s annual discount event Singles Day is set to move beyond China this year, connecting online and offline shopping. 

The event, which takes place annually on the 11 November, celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, and the ecommerce giant has launched its “New Retail” strategy aimed at moving the event beyond China. 

With this new launch, it hopes to beat last year’s record-breaking revenue of $25.3bn (£19.5bn). Comparatively, online sales for Black Friday in the US reached $5bn (£3.8bn), Adobe reported.

As part of the plan, platforms under the Alibaba group including Tmall World, AliExpress and southeast Asian ecommerce company Lazada will target international shoppers.

Lazada will host its first Singles Day events in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam through its online shopfront LazMall and third-party selling platform Lazada Marketplace.

This year, Alibaba has also recognised the importance of independent retailers in the event. The group will power 200,000 independent stores to provide online discounts. Augmented reality-enabled discounts will also be available at 3,000 Tmall Corner Stores, a venture from Alibaba that digitally transforms independent stores with technology including AI backed apps and heat sensors to track footfall. 

The company’s Tmall platform launched 500,000 items for pre-order on 20 October, alongside a see-now-buy-now fashion show.

Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang said: “Over the last two years, we have pioneered the concept of New Retail to accelerate the digital transformation of the offline. We are excited by the impressive results achieved to date and will continue to be the driving force innovating for merchants and customers in the coming decades.”

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