Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba plans a mobile version of its annual shopping festival

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba plans a mobile version of its annual shopping festival

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is known for holding an annual 11.11 Shopping Festival — China’s answer to America’s Cyber Monday shopping bonanza. Last year, Chinese shoppers splurged a jaw-dropping record CNY35.01 billion ($5.7 billion) during the festival in just 24 hours, and about 21 percent of orders were placed via mobile devices.

Now, Alibaba is planning another 24-hour sale, touted as a mobile version of the 11.11 Shopping Festival, in a bid to boost transactions made via mobile devices.

Another conference. “Great.”

This one’s different, trust us. Our new event for New York is focused on quality, not quantity.

Set for March 8, the “Mobile Taobao 3.8 Life Festival” will feature discounts for merchandise, meals, movies and other products when users shop via Alibaba’s Mobile Taobao app. To snag these discounts, consumers need to pre-order goods and services in the days leading up to March 8, when they can then redeem their purchases.

The company says its Mobile Taobao app currently has over 400 million users — and it is “trying to ride the wave of Chinese smartphone users who are increasingly using their mobile devices instead of PCs to shop online.” Throughout 2013, Alibaba already took steps to woo consumers to shop on their mobile devices.

In October last year, Alibaba announced that it would give certain mobile users free access of up to 2 gigabytes of data in November and December, when they shop with Alibaba’s apps for the company’s Taobao Marketplace, Tmall.com, Juhuasuan, Laiwang and Alipay.

Subsequently in November, the e-commerce giant launched a scheme to give away free smartphones as part of its efforts to encourage merchants to shift from PC-based online shopping to shopping via mobile phones — by helping them work better on this new platform.

Headline image via Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images

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