Are Thanksgiving, Black Friday Sales Coming to China?

on November 14 2014 | in Digital Retail | by | with No Comments

Alibaba continues its quest for world dominance in e-commerce.

Alibaba’s financial-services affiliate and the primary payment option for Alibaba’s websites, Alipay wants to bring the most American of American holidays to the Chinese consumer.

The company wants to hold sales on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, which are prime holiday shopping days in the United States. Convincing Chinese consumers to warm up to American traditions may be an easier prospect than one might expect: Chinese consumers have become more aware of Thanksgiving Day in recent years, and merchants are increasingly encouraging them to shop on the holiday. Jingming Li, President and Chief Architect of Alipay U.S., believes that such efforts will ultimately prove lucrative for the company.

“We already see a lot of Chinese consumers buying Black Friday. We want to help Chinese consumers to participate in American holidays,” Li said in an interview with Forbes.

The inspiration behind the push was Alipay’s outstanding performance during this year’s Singles Day, China’s equivalent of Black Friday. Alibaba sold a record-breaking $9.3 billion worth of products across its various platforms, and Alipay “has played a crucial role in processing such massive amount of transaction values from over 200 countries.”

Alipay has already become the largest mobile payment processor in the world, with over 800 million Chinese accounts to its name. It allows Chinese consumers easy access to foreign brands through AliExpress, TMall Global, and other e-commerce platforms.

Alipay has also taken steps recently to strengthen ties with U.S. retailers. The company unveiled the ePass payment program, “which handles everything from payment processing and currency translation for U.S. retailers,” in October. This week, five prominent American retailers (Aeropostale, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Ann Taylor) announced that they would participate in ePass through Borderfree, which “powers the retailers’ international shopping platforms.”

Li said that Alipay’s consumer base will drive such expansion efforts.

“Our biggest advantage is the trust from hundreds of Chinese consumers.”

image credit: flickr/david porter

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