What can you do in 52 seconds? Internet juggernaut Alibaba can generate RMB 1 billion in sales for its annual online shopping carnival. Last November 11, China’s so-called Singles’ Day, sales across Alibaba platforms reached new heights: RMB 120 billion, or $17.9 billion. Behind the dazzling numbers is its Alipay unit’s new tool Hua Bei (“Just Spend”).
Hua Bei functions as a mini-loans provider. Users can pay for purchases in installments within a month after goods are delivered. Hua Bei accounted for 28% of the transactions made on Singles’ Day in 2016. Fifteen million users applied to increase their Hua Bei credit limit before the carnival even began. Once debt-leery Chinese consumers are finally at ease with spending borrowed money, at least online.
Author: Rebecca Feng