HANGZHOU, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) -- Eight years after the first Singles' Day promotion, the Chinese shopping festival has become a global retail event.
Buyers and retailers are getting ready for this year's shopping extravaganza which falls on Saturday.
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba said over 15 million types of goods from 140,000 brands will be available through its Tmall shopping platform. The company said luxury brands, retail giants from the United States and Australia, and millions of Chinese retailers will join the promotion this year.
Stadium Goods, a New York City-based marketplace that sells footwear and other apparel, said it began preparations for the promotion one month in advance.
Its Singles' Day sales target is 2 million U.S. dollars, said John McPheters, founder of the company.
In 2016, Alibaba's Singles' Day sales totalled 120 billion yuan (about 18 billion U.S. dollars). A third of the sales come from global brands and retailers, the company said.
November 11 has been celebrated as Single's Day since the 1990s. The date was chosen because 11-11 resembles four "bare sticks," the Chinese term for bachelor. Alibaba introduced the Single's Day shopping event in 2009 and it has grown to become known as the Chinese version of the U.S.'s Black Friday sales.
Chinese buyers have started to add their chosen goods to shopping carts in the countdown to midnight when promotions begin. Overseas buyers are also participating in the world's biggest retail event.
According to figures from AliExpress, the company's outbound platform, it has 60 million active buyers in 220 countries and regions in 2017.
On a daily basis, over 20 million people use AliExpress to make purchases online. In Russia alone, there are about 22 million online buyers, the company said.
Russian buyer Anastasia Igumnova bought her smart-phone and kitchenware through AliExpress. "It is quite convenient to use the website. I bought a nail clipper, and was surprised that I did not have to pay postage fees," she said.
"E-commerce platforms have become an important way for trade on a global scale. An increasing number of buyers, not only in China, but also around the world, are making purchases online," said Shen Difan, general manager of AliExpress.
Another Chinese e-commerce giant, JD.com, has also offered discounts on postage fees for global buyers.
"On the Singles' Day, overseas consumers will be able to have their products delivered to their homes without paying shipping costs," said Yan Xiaobing, vice manager of JD group.
"Singles' Day is adding more and more overseas businesses, and it has become a huge opportunity for goods, capital and culture to be exchanged around the world," said Jin Xuejun, professor of economics at Zhejiang University.
"Chinese companies have improved payment and logistics networks to make online buying cheaper and more convenient. Buying and selling on a global scale is a boon for the global retail market and the world economy," he said.