Alibaba Breaks 'Singles Day' Record With $18b in Sales

  • Alibaba Breaks 'Singles Day' Record With $18b in Sales

Alibaba Breaks 'Singles Day' Record With $18b in Sales

Singles Day - the frenzied annual celebration of consumption and commerce that is China's much larger version of Black Friday - began as a protest of sorts against Valentine's Day, propelled by college students in the 1990s. The date was chosen because 11-11 resembles four "bare sticks", the Chinese term for bachelor. The site generated total sales of $11.9 billion in the first two hours. Credit China Network/Reuters Photo Singles Day will test Alibaba's logistics network. With less than six hours to go, the company reported sales nearing $21 billion, not far behind an analysts' consensus estimate for Macy's Inc.'s (NYSE: M) total 2017 revenue of $24.65 billion.

Alibaba initiated its Singles Day festival in 2009 with 27 participating vendors.

"This year, a series of live entertainment events including Tmall's See Now Buy Now Fashion Show along with other live streaming and interactive activities will bring together millions of people around the world to jointly celebrate a global shopping festival of the year".

The biggest shopping day on the planet raked in an eye-popping $25.4 billion.

This year's display of raw consumer power kicked off at midnight and by 10 am (7.30 am IST) more than $16 billion in transactions had been processed by Alipay, Alibaba's online payment system.

Even when putting together all the biggest US 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. On Friday night, Alibaba hosted a lavish gala in Shanghai, directed by one of the producers behind the 2016 Academy Awards.

They include tennis player Maria Sharapova, soccer player Luís Figo, basketball player LeBron James, movie star Nicole Kidman and pop icon Jessie J, as well as popular local entertainers such as Zhang Ziyi and Li Yuchun.

One online retailer is offering a lifetime supply of baijiu liquor for a single payment of 11,111 yuan (£1,275).