Alibaba Posts $13B in Sales Within First Hour of 2019 Singles’ Day

Singles’ Day is the world’s biggest shopping day — and Alibaba is posting massive sales.

With the first hour of its 10th annual 11:11 Global Shopping Festival, the Hangzhou, China-based e-tailer had recorded over 91 billion yuan (around $13 billion) in gross merchandise volume. It recorded a whopping $1 billion in sales just over 1 minute into festivities.

An hour and a half into the shopping extravaganza, Alibaba said it had topped 2016 sales numbers, with 120.7 billion yuan ($17.25 billion) in GMV recorded.

Globally, over 22,000 brands from 78 countries are participating in this year’s Singles’ Day. This year will be the first time that local merchants from Russia, Spain, Italy and Turkey will join in, but there is also an emphasis on smaller merchants from within China.

This year, Alibaba kicked off its event in grand fashion with performances from top artists including “Cruel Summer” singer Taylor Swift and TFBoys boy band member Jackson Yee.

Last year was Alibaba’s largest Singles’ Day ever, with a total of $30.8 billion in revenue, a 27% increase over 2017. Forecasts project the e-commerce giant will post its largest Singles’ Day sales to date this year.

While American consumers may be more familiar with Black Friday, Singles’ Day has become a much larger shopping day internationally. The 11:11 Global Shopping Festival sees more spending with a 24-hour period than all sales recorded during the U.S. holiday shopping season’s kickoff from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday.

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