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Singles' Day reveals the extent of China’s fintech revolution
Online shopping records were smashed by China’s ecommerce giants Alibaba and JD.Com on Tuesday as the country celebrated Singles’ Day, an annual consumer holiday that puts Black Friday to shame. It was a big day for e-commerce but it was also a notable milestone for mobile payments, with rival platforms Alipay (Alibaba) and WeChat payments (Tencent) battling for supremacy.
Techcrunch reports that of the $14.4 billion transacted by Alibaba - itself is remarkable jump from last year’s tally of $9.3 billion - 69% came via mobile, up from 43% last year. That means around $10 billion was transacted via Alibaba's Alipay.
But there was also competition. JD.com – Tencent’s e-commerce partner – didn’t announce its sale figures, but did reveal a 130% jump in single day orders for the same period on the previous year. The company claims 74% of its total orders were placed via mobile platforms, including JD.com's native app and through Tencent’s WeChat - which has it own Alipay payments service embedded - and Mobile QQ’s platform.
The day was a major validation of the success of Alibaba’s mobile payments platform, but Tencent and JD.com’s success also proved that the battle for market dominance will be a hard fought.