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Amazon answers 'Double 11' with Black Friday

2014-11-26 16:10 chinadaily.com.cn Web Editor: Qin Dexing

Amazon plans to bring this year's "Black Friday" shopping spree to China, a move seen as escalating the competition with Alibaba in the world's biggest e-commerce market.

The western shopping carnival will kick off for the first time in China from 9 am on Friday, said Amazon on its website, when online shoppers can search for best deals the first day after Thanksgiving and shop for Christmas.

  "Black Friday" versus "Double 11"

There are about 800,000 items on Amazon China's dedicated website for overseas shopping, with categories ranging from garment, shoes, makeup to health care and sports. Delivery takes as little as three days to two weeks on average, according to the website.

Amazon China will offer up to 70 percent off on about 35,000 products from 9 am to 4 pm on Friday, 6,000 of which will be exclusive, reported Chinese financial media Caixin quoting the company's information. The campaign in China will last throughout Saturday, which will be Friday in the US, when some of the products will be sold at half price.

Caixin added that with a delivery system covering 3,000 cities in China, Amazon aims at creating "a festival for overseas online shopping" and extending its international strategy.

Amazon launched the Chinese site on Nov 11, a day also known as "Double 11" or "Single's Day" in China and celebrated by young people shopping online.

Alibaba created the Chinese version of the shopping festival in 2009 and has made it a tradition since then. This year was the first time that the e-commerce behemoth launched the campaign on both its domestic and overseas platforms. Online sales on Alibaba's Tmall.com, Taobao.com and its overseas outlets, such as AliExpress, topped 57.1 billion yuan ($9.34 billion) on Nov 11.

Jockey for cross-border e-commerce

While Amazon is working on its Chinese site to attract Chinese shoppers into the "Black Friday" campaign, Alibaba's payment arm Alipay is teaming up with a group of high-end retailers in the US preparing for the same promotion.

Merchants participating in the first Black Friday promotion include Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale's, Macy's, iHerb, Gilt, Ashford, Ann Taylor, American Apparel and Aeropostale.

"Alipay is delighted to partner with Borderfree and Shoprunner to help leading US retailers introduce Black Friday to China and reach out to eager new customers through well-managed localized promotions, direct marketing and social media campaigns," said Rebecca Lui, director of marketing and public relations for Alipay US.

According to Bloomberg, Alibaba is open to working with eBay's Paypal and Apple's payment system to expand payment options and keeps exploring overseas market.

Alipay also announced its plan to set up a subsidiary company in Sydney and support cross-border e-commerce between China and Australia on Tuesday.

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