Cyber Monday is big, but businesses that want to participate in the largest shopping day of the year are quickly turning to China.
Friday is Singles Day, when some $20 billion in goods is expected to be purchased on the Chinese e-commerce market. U.S. brands such as Victoria's Secret, Crayola and Beats are taking aim at Singles Day — which is about five times bigger than Cyber Monday — by launching stores on e-tailing giant Alibaba.
Macy's is doubling its effort this year from last, said Joseph Tsai, Alibaba's vice chairman and co-founder. Overall, 11,000 non-Chinese brands are promoting products on Alibaba's Tmall site this year, up from 5,000 in 2015.
"A lot of brands have tried to set up their own website and to access consumers directly, but they've not been very successful," Tsai said in an interview on Thursday from Shenzhen, where he was preparing for a massive gala at Shenzhen Universiade Sports Centre. "Consumers are going directly to Alibaba."
Alibaba created the online shopping holiday in 2008, and in recent years it has turned into an international festival. According to Fung Business Intelligence, sales will jump 40 percent this year from $14.3 billion in 2015.
Asia-Pacific will account for more than half of the $1.9 trillion global e-commerce market this year, according to eMarketer. In China alone, retail e-commerce is expected to grow 36 percent to $899 billion.