Chinese retailer Alibaba Group said on Monday that sales for its annual Singles’ Day shopping blitz crossed the $30 billion mark at 4.31 pm (0831 GMT), putting the event on track to set a record in its 11th year.
The figure is equivalent to over 80 per cent of US rival Amazon.com’s online store sales in the latest quarter and matches takings across Alibaba’s e-commerce platforms on Singles’ Day last year. Sales growth for the full 24-hour event, however, is likely to fall short of the year earlier, analysts said, held back by a slowing overall e-commerce industry in China at a time when the country’s economic expansion is heading toward a historic low.
Sales hit $1 billion after one minute and eight seconds and reached 158.31 billion yuan ($22.6 billion) in the first nine hours, up 25 per cent from the same point last year, Alibaba said. Alibaba turned China’s informal Singles’ Day into a shopping event in 2009 and built it into the world’s biggest online sales fest, dwarfing Cyber Monday in the US which took in $7.9 billion last year.