Published: Sat, November 11, 2017
Money | By Charlene Sutton

Alibaba Singles' Day sales race past $ 10 bn in first hour

Alibaba Singles' Day sales race past $ 10 bn in first hour

The online flash sale binge on China's mammoth e-commerce giants, like Alibaba's and its rival, begins at midnight Friday China local time and lasts for 24 hours.

We all know about Black Friday and Cyber Monday as they are the biggest shopping days in the USA, but China has an even bigger shopping day that was designed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA).

China's Singles' Day is an entertaining festival widespread among young Chinese people, to celebrate the fact that they are proud of being single.

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In 2009, Alibaba chose to turn Singles Days into a cybershopping event along the lines of Black Friday in the United States.

The annual retail extravaganza has become a major event with Alibaba hosting a gala that past year featured David and Victoria Beckham and Kobe Bryant.

With a focus on retail as entertainment, this year is expected to be bigger with more add-ons including augmented-reality games, shopping tours and virtual fitting rooms.

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China's alternative to Valentine's Day has turned into the world's biggest shopping event. Last year, Alibaba shipped more than 1 billion packages and is on track to well outpace that this year. This year, Amazon recorded a record $1 billion in sales for its made up holiday and it was the largest single day for sales in the company's history.

Comparing Single's Day to Amazon's "Prime Day" gives a good idea of the massive scale of the holiday. In the first hour of Singles Day past year, about 175,000 hours per second came in.

Alibaba also hosted a star-studded gala enlisting tennis star Maria Sharapova and American rapper Pharrell Williams to pump sales, Bloomberg reported.

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