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Alibaba Sets ‘Singles Day’ Sales Record

Alibaba Sets ‘Singles Day’ Sales Record

Chinese consumers stayed glued to their phones Wednesday, spending billions of dollars on items such as Taylor Swift-branded jackets, Apple Inc. iPhon

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Chinese consumers stayed glued to their phones Wednesday, spending billions of dollars on items such as Taylor Swift-branded jackets, Apple Inc. iPhones and prepaid beach vacations, in a test of Chinese consumer confidence after the disruptions of the coronavirus pandemic.

By the evening of Nov. 11, also known as Singles Day, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. , the Chinese technology giant, said it had raked in a record 498.2 billion yuan in sales, equivalent to $75.1 billion.

The Hangzhou-based company, which operates two of the country’s most popular e-commerce platforms, this year extended the buying window of its annual shopping event from one day in previous years to several days. That helped it break last year’s buying record by 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.

But growing regulatory pressure on a popular way that shoppers fund purchases on Alibaba’s e-commerce sites and new draft rules proposed Tuesday to curtail the influence of internet companies cast a shadow on the event—and the business model that has made the empire founded by entrepreneur Jack Ma a global force.

Since last week, when regulators halted the initial public offering of Alibaba-backed payment platform Ant Group, Alibaba’s New York-listed shares have fallen 16%—erasing $137 billion from its market value, according to Refinitiv data—reflecting in part investor concerns about a raft of regulatory actions.

This post first appeared on wsj.com

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