Singles' Day 2017

How online retailing continues to grow in China

Singles' Day, the world's largest online shopping event, took place in China on 11 November. It was the ninth time the event had taken place. Since sales for this colossal happening first exceeded twice that achieved by the long-standing leader – America's Cyber Monday – in 2012, new superlatives have been reported from the country every year.

25.3 billion dollars sales volume in one day

Singles' Day China billions sales volumes

We have summarised the key background information, facts, potential and tips behind Singles' Day 2017 in an informative event profile which you can now download:

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High expectations on Singles' Day 2017

Singles Day China Alibaba Gala Venue

Once more a new record?

The excitement this year was particularly strong. Would Singles' Day 2017 succeed in again topping the previous year's record? On November 11 it finally was the day.


  • It took less than 15 minutes for internet giant Alibaba to record the first 5 billion dollars.
  • In the previous year, the online giant needed one hour to reach that number.


  • By the end of the 24-hour marathon, 1.5 billion transactions were completed on Alibaba alone. At peak times, about 325,000 transactions per second.
  • Within the first 30 seconds, 97 percent of all orders were generated by mobile devices - the remaining day, it was still stately 90 percent.


  • Customers had the choice between 60,000 international brand manufacturers - in 2016 'only' 14,000 international companies offered their products.
  • Most of the international products ordered came from Japan, the USA, Australia, Germany and South Korea.

Singles' Day 2017 – the top sellers

What you can learn from China's e-commerce spectacle

An increasing number of non-Chinese brands are included among the top sellers.

Top 5 countries selling to China
Top 5 American brands
Top 5 European brands

Top 5 seller at Singles' Day China 2017 - men's clothing

Men's clothing

  1. HLA (China)
  2. Uniqlo (Japan)
  3. GXG (China)
  4. Peacebird (China)
  5. Jack Jones (Denmark)

Top 5 seller at Singles' Day China 2017 - women's clothing

Women's clothing

  1. Uniqlo (Japan)
  2. Vero Moda (Denmark)
  3. ONLY (Denmark)
  4. Eifini (China)
  5. HSTYLE (China)

Top 5 seller at Singles' Day China 2017 - cosmetics


  1. Pechoin (China)
  2. Chando (China)
  3. Lancome (France)
  4. Estée Lauder (USA)
  5. SK-II (Japan)

Top 5 seller at Singles' Day China 2017 - mobile phones

Mobile phones

  1. Apple (USA)
  2. Xiaomi (China)
  3. Honor (China)
  4. Huawei (China)
  5. Vivo (China)

Top 5 seller at Singles' Day China 2017 - sportswear & sports equipment

Sportswear & sports equipment

  1. Nike (USA)
  2. Adidas (Germany)
  3. Anta (China)
  4. New Balance (USA)
  5. Li-Ning (China)

Top 5 seller at Singles' Day 2017 - home appliances

Home appliances

  1. Midea (China)
  2. Philips (The Netherlands)
  3. ECOVACS (China)
  4. Dyson (United Kingdom)
  5. Joyoung (China)

Alibaba is not everything – infos from our partner

The second largest online marketplace in China – also posted new records on Singles' Day 2017. Compared to the preveious year, sales grew by more than 50 percent to 19.1 billion dollars. 89 percent of customers used their mobile phone.

In terms of logistics, draws on the latest technologies and uses drones to ship goods to remote rural areas or for last minute deliveries.

The highlights:

diapers and milk powder sold more than 1.5 billion diapers and 20,000 tons of milk powder for newborns on Singles' Day 2017.


Within 24 hours, 400,000 watches were bought on - the manufacturer Tag Heuer surpassed last year's sales in just 15 minutes.


Within the first 30 minutes of Singles' Day 2017 air-conditioning worth 75 billion dollars were sold - this required 24 hours the year before.

Besides the big names among German brand retailers, medium-sized producers such as Aptamil (baby foods), Brita (water filters), Lamy (writing systems) and Alpecin (shampoo) were also stongly represented.

The lesson for German companies

As the results of the Singles' Day 2017 show, the Chinese market offers huge opportunities for producers of consumer goods from around the world - the trends in cross-border online retailing offer even greater support to these assumptions. Therefore, it is high time for mainly German companies – besides the brands renowned worldwide such as Adidas – to engage in this type of retailing and the markets that can be reached. Especially for medium-sized companies, the Chinese market offers huge potential, just waiting to be exploited.

No doubt, this does not come with its challenges: another culture, another pattern of consumer behaviour and a technological landscape with established search engines such as Baidu that are so different from the rest of the world, do not make exporting to China easy. But we can help you rise to these challenges. The services provided by Hermes and our subsidiary BorderGuru embrace all key elements of cross-border e-commerce: from online orders through to logistics, customs clearance and doorstep deliveries. Click here to find out more:

How to win over international customers

Sources: Alizila,, Statista E-Commerce Foundation Report 2016,,

Photo credits: Alibaba, Business Wire,, iStock

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