Alibaba’s Singles’ Day sales smashes records once again

World Today

People watch a screen displaying the total value of goods sold during Alibaba Group's 11.11 Singles' Day global shopping festival in ShenzhenPeople watch a screen displaying the total value of goods sold during Alibaba Group’s 11.11 Singles’ Day global shopping festival in Shenzhen, China, November 12, 2016. (REUTERS/Bobby Yip)

In China, Alibaba smashed its Singles’ Day shopping record on Friday marking a 32 percent growth from 2015.

Within minutes of kicking off Singles’ Day at midnight on Thursday, China’s annual online shopping bonanza smashed sales records across multiple online marketplaces.

The company posted a record USD 17.73 billion worth of sales on Friday.

Sales surpassed USD 1.47 billion in only six minutes and 58 seconds – six minutes ahead of last year, according to the company.

The evolution of Singles’ Day sales.

Statistic: Alibaba's gross merchandise volume on Singles Day from 2011 to 2015 (in billion U.S. dollars) | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista

Singles’ Day is also known as 11/11 because the 24-hour event is held annually on November 11.

It initially started as a celebration day for China’s young singletons until Alibaba turned it into a shopping fiesta in 2009.

With over one billion orders expected to be delivered, online retailers are employing driver less cars to deliver orders.

Gome, another e-commerce site, recorded a 366-percent year-on-year surge in orders in the first hour.

Alibaba’s Singles Day is considered the Chinese version of Black Friday. The event has grown into a huge competition for market shares among Chinese e-commerce companies.

This year’s online shopping bonanza saw an increase in the number of mobile transactions, with 83 percent of the purchases completed on mobile devices.

According to Internet industry research agency iResearch, China’s online shopping market’s sales are up by 27.6 percent from the same period last year. It also estimated the volume will exceed 1.5 trillion in the fourth quarter.

Story by CCTV America and Xinhua.