That’s about 40 percent higher than last year’s result. In 2016, Alibaba generated $17.8 billion in gross merchandise volume on its platforms. (Gross merchandise volume — a measure of growth in the e-commerce space — is often used interchangeably with sales to refer to the revenues generated on Alibaba’s online platforms.)
This year, Alibaba Group estimated that 140,000 brands, 15 million products and half a billion consumers around the world would take part in the 24-hour festival. For Alibaba specifically, it expected more than 60,000 international brands to be available across its marketplaces, including Adidas, Nike, Zara and Uniqlo.
The huge consumer demand was evident as soon as Singles’ Day kicked off at midnight Saturday in China. In just one hour, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. raked in $8.6 billion in sales. In 12 hours, the company had already surpassed the 2016 results. “China is ahead of the world when it comes to digital transformation of online and offline retail,” Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang said in a statement posted on the company’s twitter account.
The company also generated buzz by involving big-name celebrities in this year’s event. Both Nicole Kidman and Maria Sharapova were on hand.