Alibaba Hits Record $38.4 Billion for Singles’ Day Sales
Taylor Swift and Kim Kardashian took part in the 24-hour shopping extravaganza.
Alibaba surpassed its previous Singles’ Day sales with 268.4 billion yuan ($38.4 billion) on Monday, setting a new record high for the annual 24-hour shopping frenzy.
Now on its 11th run, the shopping festival, held every Nov. 11, marked the first time Alibaba has thrived under a new chief executive officer following Jack Ma’s resignation in September.
Monday’s final tally ($38,379,306,366) was up by almost 26% compared to last year’s figure ($30,802,477,608), according to the South China Morning Post, which Alibaba owns.
“Singles’ Day is becoming more recognised worldwide … but since it is still very much a domestic holiday and event, it is a true test of Chinese consumer power,” Benson Ng, EY Greater China digital advisory leader, told the outlet.
Twelve hours into the extravaganza, Hong Kong, the U.S., Taiwan, Australia and Japan ranked as the top five overseas consumers.
Despite the ongoing trade war, China’s demand for imported goods from the U.S. and Japan remains strong according to Ng, who described it as “very good news.”
This year’s Singles’ Day sales dwarfed those of Black Friday’s and Cyber Monday’s in the previous year, which came in at $6.2 billion and $7.9 billion, respectively.
Monday’s figure was also equivalent to more than 80% of Amazon’s online store sales in the latest quarter, according to Reuters.
Taylor Swift performed at the event’s opening in Shanghai. The pop star’s latest album, “Lover,” sold better in China than it did in the U.S., according to Bloomberg.
Kim Kardashian also joined the hype, live-streaming on Taobao with Chinese influencer Viya to promote her KKW cosmetics line. About 12 million people watched her broadcast, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Sales reportedly hit $1 billion after one minute and eight seconds. It reached 158.31 billion yuan ($22.6 billion) in the first nine hours, an increase of 25% from the same duration last year.
Alibaba launched Singles’ Day, also known as “11/11” and “Double 11,” in 2009 as an unofficial anti-Valentine’s holiday for single people. Its name — an obvious play on the date — also symbolized single people, Forbes noted.