It is the eleventh of November, and in Abruzzo takes place the traditional feast of San Martino: a festivity that has its roots in Christianity, merging with the ancient rural traditions of our Region.

A warm autumn day, celebrated with the opening of the new wine; the scent of chestnuts blends with that of the first fires, giving life to a timeless celebration.

In the meantime, in China it's almost midnight and millions of people are about to flock to Alibaba, the e-commerce giant. It's not just any day: in the country of the Dragon, November 11th marks the date of the world's biggest online shopping event.

Born in 1993 as a holiday for singles, the Alibaba Group has transformed this occasion: a day of discounts, accompanied by launches of new products, limited editions and free shipping.

A sort of American Black Friday or Cyber Monday, but with dizzying figures: sales on 11/11 manage to overcome the sum of those made by the two Western occasions together.

In 2019, in the first five minutes after midnight, there were sales for  USD 4.3 billion; at the end of the day, the turnover achieved was USD 38.3 billion.

Among the rising sectors, there is the luxury goods one: for 11/11 2020, Dior has announced the launch of its first Capsule Collection made for the festival. The announcement was made on WeChat, the most popular instant messaging platform in China, developed by the company Tencent.

Also this year, 11/11 started with an event with an international scope: a gala evening waiting for midnight, followed by concerts and live-streaming to present products, accompanying consumers in a real virtual experience.

World-renowned pop star Katy Perry was the star of 2020, while international celebrities who took part in the event included Taylor Swift, Miranda Kerr and basketball legend Magic Johnson.

The 2020 edition broke all previous sales records. After doubling the number of brands present compared to the previous year, to a total of 250,000, Alibaba realized an overall amount of USD 56.3 billion. Every second saw 583,000 orders realized.

The numbers confirm the fast economic recovery of China, hit by the first wave of Covid19; and among the European brands rewarded by consumers, there are the Italian ones: about 400 participating brands, for purchases that reached 449 million USD. Among the made-in-Italy protagonists welcomed for the first time by the festival there are Prada, Bulgari, Acqua di Parma and Salvatore Ferragamo; and again for the first time, Italy was ranked among the top ten exporting countries by Alibaba.

China on 11/11 confirms not only a resumption of the economic expansion of the country, but it turns out to be an investment opportunity for the excellence of our made in Italy, consolidated or emerging.

And in this scenario Abruzzo could find a further international showcase, thanks to the international strong interest in its products: an example is the wine sector which, as confirmed by data provided by the Consorzio Tutela Vini d'Abruzzo, in 2019 saw a 13% increase in exports to China.


Edited by: Lawyer Carlo D'Andrea, Vice President of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China and Managing Partner of D'Andrea & Partners Law Firm, with offices also in Shanghai and Pescara.