Alibaba once again proved its worthiness as China’s king of e-commerce after it smashed a record breaking sale figure of 168 billion yuan ($25.3 billion) at the end of its annual Singles’ Day event.
This year’s event on Nov. 11 far exceeded the company’s Singles’ Day in 2016, which raked in $18.1 billion during its 24-hour sale period, according to South China Morning Post.
Surprisingly, Singles’ Day 2017 even surpasses the sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States combined by nearly four times.
“168.2 billion yuan sales is not only a record in China, but also a record worldwide,” Alibaba’s Chief Executive Daniel Zhang Yong said.
“The number of orders placed on Alibaba platforms reached 777 million as of 23:30pm. Singles’ Day is Olympic Games for Chinese merchants. Sales of 157 merchants exceed 100 million yuan; 17 merchants exceed 500 million; 5 merchants exceed 1 billion yuan.”
Data shows that consumers spent around 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) three minutes after the official shopping spree kicked off on midnight on Saturday. The sale event generated $8.6 billion in sales within its first hour. It took the company a little over 13 hours to surpass its 2016 record sales of $18.1 billion.
Before the event kicked off, Citigroup Inc.predicted that the Singles’ Day 2017 sale transactions will rise by more than 30% to 158 billion yuan. However, the total tally far exceeds the prediction by 39%, according to Bloomberg.
Alibaba’s annual shopping frenzy helped approximately 82 brands make 100 million yuan in sales for 2017, including Nike Inc., Xiaomi Corp. and Uniqlo Co. all coming out on top.
At the peak of the event, the company reportedly handled around 256,000 transactions per second, and about 90% of transactions made were from mobile users.
Alibaba, along with its founder Jack Ma, held a star-studded four-hour live gala broadcast before the official Singes’ Day event kicked off. Many popular celebrities appeared on the show including Hollywood actress Nicole Kidman, American rapper Pharrell Williams, martial artist and actor Donnie Yen, who also stars alongside Ma in “Gong Shou Dao,” and others.
The gala was held in Shanghai, China, where Alibaba handed out 270 million (about $40.7 million) worth of prizes such as free trips to the Antarctic. But there were hints of organizers wanting to make Singles’ Day an international event.
“We want to make Singles’ Day a more global event. We could take the gala overseas very soon,” Zhang said.
Singes’ Day was first celebrated by mainland Chinese university students in Najing University in 1993, a reaction to how society places pressure and emphasis on relationships, particularly for younger generations.
The date, Nov. 11 or 11/11, holds significance as the number one resembles a single person.
Alibaba has been celebrating the occasion since 2009 by giving amazing and steep discounts to a wide variety of products sold on its platform, Tmall.
Featured Image via YouTube / Al Jazeera English