Today is 11.11, Single Days in China. Think of it as a Black Friday on steroids. The event started in the ‘90s as a pretext for single people to get together. Then Alibaba and other Chinese e-commerce companies took hold of it and turned it the largest shopping day in the world.
Alibaba sold two billion dollar worth of stuff in the first two hours of Singles Day, and a big chunk of that went to mobile companies. The biggest and flashiest of all? Xiaomi.
The rising star of the mobile world sold a huge number of devices in just 12 hours – 720,000. Hugo Barra, the former Googler who heads Xiaomi’s international expansion, took to Google Plus to announce the impressive milestones the company hit in the first 12 hours of Singles Day:
- ¥100 million (US$16 million) in 4m 48s
- ¥550 million (US$90 million) in 4 hours (last year’s full day sales)
- ¥1 billion (US$163 million) in 12 hours
- 720,000 Mi phones sold in 12 hours
These amazing statistics are representative for both the size of the Chinese e-commerce market and Xiaomi’s sheer force.
Still largely unknown to the average Western customer, Xiaomi is rising to power in China and other fast-growing markets in Asia, including India, Indonesia, and the Philippines. The company, which analysts have compared to Apple, for its focus on the user, but also to Amazon, for its low margin strategy, has risen to third place globally last quarter. To fuel its global growth, Xiaomi is now in talks for investments that would value at it $40 billion.