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.

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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 JD.com 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 JD.com, 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.