The domestic economy has recovered well in China if the figures coming out of the first day of the Singles' Day shopping festival – sometimes seen as a proxy for consumer spending – are anything to go by, including sales 90% higher than last year on

The annual shopping event now sprawls over several weeks, including pre-sales campaigns beginning in the third week of October and, this year, incorporates two shopping windows: 1st–3rd November as well as 11th November.

With brands and retailers anxious to recover from the lingering impact of COVID-19, they are both expected to invest heavily in this year’s expanded festival.

Festival founder Alibaba, said that one hundred brands hit sales of 100 million yuan (US$15 million) on its Taobao and Tmall platforms in 111 minutes after midnight on Sunday, the South China Morning Post reported.

The top five sales categories on were smartphones, washing machines, flat-panel televisions, refrigerators and laptops. Moreover, sales of Huawei’s newly launched Mate 40 phones shot past 100 million yuan in just eight seconds, it said.

“The booming opening sales have once again proven that with coronavirus pandemic prevention measures becoming a normal part of life [...] China’s consumer market is on an upwards trend in the mid to long term,” according to a statement from

The reports would seem to bear out a survey last week from AlixPartners which found that 39% of Chinese consumers plan to spend more on the Singles’ Day sales this year in comparison to last year. Meanwhile, only 15% plan to spend less, with the majority of these consumers (69%) citing lingering concerns over the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy as a reason for this.

Elsewhere in the region, Singapore-based Shopee is tapping into new opportunities created by a 60% surge in the number of sellers on its platform earlier in the year. By simply highlighting these new sellers during its 9.9 Super Shopping Day in September, they were able to increase sales six-fold, and similar support should be expected for this month’s 11.11 sale, according to Techwire Asia.

The “Shopee 11.11 Big Sale is our way of transforming a global phenomenon into one that truly belongs to our region,” said Martin Yu, associate director at Shopee, Philippines.

Sourced from South China Morning Post, Techwire, AlixPartners; additional content by WARC staff