Alibaba racks up $35b in Singles' Day sales

Alibaba racks up $35b in Singles' Day sales

Also known as "Double 11" for the November 11 date, Singles Day is billed as the world's biggest one-day online shopping festival.


China's Singles' Day sales on TMall hit 10 billion yuan (about 1.5 billion USA dollars) at just three minutes past midnight on Saturday.

Additionally, the retailer hit a record $18 billion in just 13 hours, eclipsing last year's record of $17.8 billion in 24 hours.

Even when putting together all the biggest USA shopping holidays, Black Friday, Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday, and Amazon's Prime Day-sales from Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba's Singles' Day still come on top, according to data compiled by Fung Global Retail & Tech.

E-commerce's huge growth in China has put New York-listed Alibaba neck-and-neck with Amazon as the world's most valuable e-commerce company, while also making Nasdaq-listed a Fortune 500 company. But, it was transformed into a shopping event akin to America's Black Friday by e-commerce giant Alibaba in 2011.

The event has been adopted by Alibaba rivals such as, with merchants engaging in a cut-throat battle to slash prices and move goods. Alipay processed 1.5 billion payment transactions in total, up 41% from 2016, and processed 256,000 transactions per second at peak. Cyber Monday sales clocked in at $3.5 billion-resulting in total sales of about $8.7 billion as consumers prepared for the gift-giving holiday season.

The day's transaction volumes are pumped up by many Chinese delaying purchases of mundane items like rice and toilet paper to take advantage of cut-rate prices.

But environmentalists complain of ecological harm, accusing Alibaba and other e-commerce companies of fuelling a culture of excessive over-consumption and mountains of waste.

November 11 has been celebrated as China's Single's Day since the 1990s. Last year, there were 98,000.

"This is a big event for China, for the Chinese economy", Mr Joseph Tsai, Alibaba's co-founder and vice-chairman, said.

Alibaba hosts a live blog with the latest updates of the 11.11 Shopping events here.