SHANGHAI, CHINA (NOVEMBER 11 AND 12, 2017) (REUTERS) – Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, said that its Singles’ Day sales extravaganza on Saturday’s (November 11) hit $25.4 billion, smashing its own record from last year and cementing it as the world’s biggest shopping event.
As tills shut at midnight on Saturday, Alibaba’s live sales ticker registered 168.3 billion yuan, up 39 percent from 120.7 billion yuan last year. The dollar figure was up more steeply due to the strength of the yuan against the greenback this year.
At just past the halfway mark, the headline gross merchandise volume swept past last year’s dollar total just shy of $18 billion. Shortly afterwards, sales surpassed the 2016 total in the local currency.
Once a celebration for China’s lonely hearts, Singles’ Day has become an annual 24-hour buying frenzy that exceeds the combined sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States, and acts as a barometer for China’s consumers.