cashed a record 213.5 billion yuan

ironman2012

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi,

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd cashed a record 213.5 billion yuan ($30.70 billion) in sales on Sunday during its 24-hour online retail frenzy Singles' Day, but the event's annual growth dropped to its slowest-ever rate.

(This comes from yahoo.com Alibaba Singles' Day tops $30 billion but growth rate plunges by Cate Cadell on November 11, 2018.)

I often see "cash a check". I want to know if "cash a sum of money, like cash a billion yuan" is frequently used. Does "cash" here mean "earn"?

Thanks in advance!
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    I've never seen that use of 'cash'. I wouldn't use it to mean "took (an amount) in cash", but perhaps it's used that way in industry. Or perhaps it's just journalist's jargon.
     

    Artifacs

    Senior Member
    Spanish - España
    cash in this context means put in the "bank account" (figuratively), whether they earned the money or made it by selling is not specified in the verb but by context.
    Cross-posted
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    Does "cash" here mean "earn"?
    No! I'd think it's technically impossible to make USD 30 billion of profit in one day -- even for a Chinese company!
    I'd assume they had a turnover of 30billion, i.e. 30 billion dollars changed hands as a result of Alibaba's special sales day. Since Alibaba is just a trading platform, you can assume that they saw "only" 10-20% of that as income.
     

    ironman2012

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Normally, I would expect the word "recorded" there.
    Sorry, I'm not familiar with the meaning of the "record (verb)". Does the it mean “to set down in some permanent form so as to preserve the true facts of: to record the minutes of a meeting” or "to indicate, show: his face recorded his disappointment"?
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Technically, it would mean the amount of sales they recorded (wrote down, made a record of) in their accounting books on that day. But since everything is computerized now it's not as literal as it used to be. That information is saved somewhere inside a computer, so now it's a digital record of the sales.

    But there are many other phrases that would work there. Recorded, brought in, raked in, made, achieved, tallied, etc. Like others, I've never seen "cashed" used in that context.
     

    ironman2012

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    But there are many other phrases that would work there. Recorded, brought in, raked in, made, achieved, tallied, etc.
    Do you think "earned" is also acceptable in this context?
    I think "earn" and "make" usually have the same meaning, for example, she earns/makes $1,000 a month.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I don't think earned is a good fit because it's a business. People earn money and that's what they have. That's their money.

    Businesses, on the other hand, make sales but that's not how much they have earned because they have expenses, too. Their expenses include how much they pay their employees and how much they spend on their buildings and how much they spent to make or buy (wholesale) the things that they sold to their customers. So in business what you have "earned" is the difference between your sales and your expenses. Earnings has a special meaning in business accounting which doesn't really apply to people.

    Some of the other examples I gave are informal (raked in, especially) and have no real meaning in accounting. They are words used by journalists. "Make" is a general word and can be used different ways. Make sales and make money are different ideas. Make a sale just means you've sold something. Make money means your sales are higher than your expenses and you have made a profit. You can make a lot of sales but make no money (no profit) from those sales if you have high expenses.
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    Do you think "earned" is also acceptable in this context?
    I think "earn" and "make" usually have the same meaning, for example, she earns/makes $1,000 a month.
    I agree with kentix, earnings is misleading. When I hear of earnings in connection with a business, I usually think of net earnings, i.e. profit. (because that's how most of the commercial reports use that word)

    'Recorded a sales volume of' or 'generated a sales volume of' is probably the technically most correct and unambiguous phrase.
    You have to look at their business model to understand how it works. Alibaba is not making anything, so they are not selling any goods. With their subsidiaries Alixpress, Tabao, Lazada, etc. they are providing internet platforms that connect manufacturers or sellers of goods with buyers. For that service they are charging every seller a few percent of the selling price. Additionally they offer the payment service Alipay, and again for every transaction and every dollar that passes through that service, they charge a fee of a few percent.
    So by offering these internet services, Alibaba is generating sales transactions between some of the millions of sellers and billions of buyers that use these services.
    Technically it's not Alibaba's turnover, nor is it their income or profit. It's the amount of sales they created on that one day alone. Some of that amount will go to Alibaba as fees for their services, some of it goes to the seller as income for their products, lots of it will go to the seller's country in form of taxes, and the rest goes to logistics and shipping companies for transporting the products to the buyers -- and Alibaba is offering services on that end too!

    Great business model. Why didn't I think of that? :oops::p
     
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