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Western Media's Reaction to 11.11 Shopping Festival Sales: OMG

Published: 31 Jul 2013 00:03:43 PST

The news that China's 11.11 Singles Day Shopping Festival had surpassed Cyber Monday in the U.S. as the world's highest-grossing annual online shopping event got a lot of coverage in the Western press. The story seemed to touch a nerve because it provided fresh, and striking, evidence of the growing spending power of China's consumer class.

It's common knowledge that the profligacy of U.S. consumers has long been the driving force powering the global economy. But what seemed to draw the attention of Western observers was just how voracious online shoppers in China have become--and how convincingly they toppled last year's Cyber Monday record.

Sales on Chinese e-commerce websites and sister site, hosts of the 11.11 sale, hit nearly $3.1 billion on Nov. 11. That was within hailing distance of tripling last year's Cyber Monday sales of $1.25 billion. "The e-commerce sales [on 11.11] were through the roof," marvels CNN's Azadeh Ansari in the video clip below. "We've never seen this before."

It's worth noting that China currently has 193 million online shoppers, more than the U.S. with 170 million, according to Boston Consulting Group. Still, Ansari seems amazed that China's consumers could put Americans in the shade in one of their areas of core competancy: spending money. Looking at the cyber-sales results, "You can see we've got a lot of ground to cover right now," she says. It's not a race, Azadeh.

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