Yesterday was famous China’s annual Singles Day online shopping bonanza by Alibaba. Singles’ Day, which originated on university campuses in Nanjing, China in the 1990s, became an annual shopping bonanza after Alibaba, China’s biggest e-commerce retailer, made it into an event a decade ago. Singles Day is an informal, anti-Valentine’s Day holiday in China celebrating people who aren’t in relationships. Its date, November 11, was chosen because the date is written as four ones or singles.
The 11th edition of Singles’ Day, the world’s biggest shopping event ever, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba set a new sales record of $38.4 billion, in 24 hours selling more than half of what Amazon sells in an entire quarter. Amazon reported $70 billion in net sales last quarter; Alibaba made over half of that number in just 24 hours, according to the company’s GMV figures. That’s an increase of about 25% over last year’s $30.8 billion, a slightly slower rate of growth than Alibaba (BABA) recorded in 2018, when the company reported a 27% uptick in Singles Day revenue. Just to put these numbers in perspective, compare it with the five-day Black Friday sales which clocked less than $25 billion in sales last year. Cyber Monday clocked less than $8 billion. Alibaba said sales exceeded US$1 billion just 1 minute and 7 seconds after midnight on November 11, and surpassed US$10 billion after 29 minutes and 45 seconds.
According to Alibaba, the number of delivery orders exceeded 1.042 billion in 18 hours and 31 minutes; surpassing the 2018 total. China’s State Post Bureau is expected to handle 2.8 billion packages from Nov 11 to 18, according to state-run press agency Xinhua. The number broke last year’s full-day transaction record of 213.5 billion yuan in just 16 hours and 31 minutes. Sales hit 100 billion yuan just 63 minutes after midnight on Monday. Last year, it took 107 minutes for Tmall to reach 100 billion, and the year before that, it took nine hours and four seconds.
Alibaba rival, JD.com, reported sales of 179.4 billion yuan ($25.6 billion) by mid-afternoon, according to The Associated Press. Pre-sales, which kicked off three weeks ago, saw Estée Lauder rake in a record 1 billion yuan ($143 million) in pre-orders, Alibaba said on Sunday. Alibaba users also pre-ordered 100 million yuan ($14 million) worth of Apple iPhone 11s, the company said.
Alibaba’s Singles’ Day sales: