Alibaba notches up new Singles’ Day record

Expect the Chinese e-commerce giant to step up its focus on blockchain tech for future sales extravaganzas

The 10th anniversary of the biggest shopping day on the planet did not disappoint.

Alibaba reports that Singles’ Day kicked off with a four-hour gala that saw Mariah Carey, Allen Iverson and Cirque du Soleil take to the stage, as well as Asian popstars Jay Chou and Coco Lee.

It then took just one minute and 25 seconds to reach $1 billion (RMB 6.9 billion) in gross merchandise volume. Just over a half hour later, 11.11 had surpassed the total GMV figures from 2012, 2013 and 2014. The event ultimately generated a record $30.8 billion (last year’s final tally was $25.3 billion).

That’s all very impressive, but what does it have to do with the blockchain space?, we hear you cry. Well, Alibaba recently nabbed the top spot, ahead of IBM, on an iPR Daily list that ranked global organisations by the number of blockchain-related patents they’ve filed.

The media outlet used data up until 10th August from across China, the EU, America, Japan and South Korea, and also consulted the International Patent System from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Alibaba filed 90 blockchain-related patent applications and IBM was close behind with 89. In third place was Mastercard (80) followed by Bank of America (53). Next up was People’s Bank of China (PBoC), which has filed a total of 44 patent applications around its central bank digital currency project.

Meanwhile, Alibaba subsidiary, Lynx International, has integrated blockchain technology to track information in its cross-border logistics services. And Tmall, in partnership with Cainiao, is using blockchain to do the same for shipments from over 50 countries.

Expect to see more initiatives coming to the fore and the technology, along with cryptocurrencies, to play an increasing role in future Singles’ Day events.

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