Beckham Visits Hangzhou and Alibaba Group

By David Li,

Hangzhou, China, Nov. 11, 2014, — If you want to increase the sales of your e-commerce website dramatically, how about invent a new shopping festival on the Singles’ Day? That’s exactly what the Alibaba group did in 2009 when it created the annual shopping festival on Nov. 11, which was widely known as the Singles’ Day in China.
Alibaba’s CEO Jack Ma takes David Beckham on a tour of the company’s headquarters(file photo).

This year, Alibaba Group invited Beckham to Hangzhou to help promote the shopping festival. Beckham is still a very popular soccer star in China even after his playing career ended.

The total sales on all Alibaba’s marketplaces topped one billion RMB in just 20 minutes after the clock turned midnight on Nov. 11. In the first hour, the sales figure grew to unprecedented 11 billion RMB, which is ten times higher than that of the same period last year.

The APEC Summit in Beijing might have contributed to part of the sales jump. Nov. 10 to 12 has been designated as holidays in Beijing for government employees, workers of many NGOs and educational institutions to reduce traffic jams and air pollution. So, many people in Beijing area are spending time online shopping today.

What makes Jack Ma smile even bigger is that more than 50% of the sales transactions were completed on mobile devices. Alibaba group has made significant investments in mobile platforms over past couple years.

One of the best sellers on Alibaba’s marketplaces today is the Redmi smart phones. By noon time Beijing time, over 720,000 Redmi phones have been sold according to reports by Alibaba group.

Redmi phones are Android based smart phones created by a company called Xiaomi, which means little rice in Chinese. Xiaomi was founded in 2010 by serial entrepreneur Mr. Lei Jun, a graduate of Wuhan University. Thanks to the invention of the Annual Shopping Festival on the Singles’ Day and star appeal of David Beckham, the little rice is making a big splash in China’s mobile phone market.