Australia has risen to third-highest seller during China’s ‘Singles Day’ sales on ecommerce website Alibaba, with an Australian vitamin company selling the most merchandise of any overseas brand.

Held on 11 November, Singles Day is an opportunity for Chinese singles to celebrate their unmarried status. Singles Day sales began in 2009, and the value of goods sold in the 24-hour sale has climbed dramatically since then.

This year, Alibaba Group reported selling A$33 billion worth of merchandise through its Chinese and international retail marketplaces in the 24 hours to midnight, with Australia ranking third for sales behind the USA and Japan.

Australian retailers featured prominently amongst the most-sold brands, with Australian vitamin and supplement company Swisse ranking as the overall highest imported brand into China by total merchandise sold.

Alibaba Group’s ANZ Managing Director Maggie Zhou said Australia’s Singles Day performance showed a steady improvement from fifth in 2015 to fourth last year and now third.

‘When we launched Alibaba Group’s Australia and New Zealand office earlier this year, one of our key goals was to grow Australia’s outstanding performance in previous 11.11 Global Shopping Festivals,’ she said.

‘We are thrilled that Australia has successfully managed to improve its global rankings again – a testament to the growing appetite for high-quality Australian goods among Chinese consumers.’

Australians were also shopping on Singles Day, ranking fifth for countries buying cross-border on Alibaba (behind Russia, Hong Kong, the USA and Taiwan).

Alibaba reported that this year’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival saw 60,000 international brands and merchants available to Chinese consumers, with 225 countries and regions recording completed transactions.

The Alipay payment system processed 1.48 billion total payment transactions, including 256,000 transactions per second at the peak of the sale. The first goods from the sale were delivered just 12 minutes and 18 seconds after midnight.

TIQ joined with Alibaba Group to run ecommerce training workshops for Queensland’s small to medium enterprises in August this year.

The workshops were the first in a series being run under the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.