Alibaba Singles Day kicked off with Taylor Swift and a huge, new sales record : Move over Prime Day, Alibaba’s shopping holiday just set new spending records.
Singles Day, the Chinese ecommerce giant’s annual “global shopping festival,” has just begun and it’s already set new records. Shoppers spent more than $13 billion (or 91.2 billion Chinese Yuan) in the first hour alone, Alibaba reported.
That’s a new record for the company, which saw $30 billion in total sales for 2018’s entire Singles Day.
If early sales are any indication, Alibaba could easily blow through that record as well. Less than 30 minutes after its hour one update, the retailer announced total sales had now exceeded $17.2 billion (120 billion in Chinese Yuan).
Singles Day is a bit like Alibaba’s version of Amazon’s Prime Day. Though the premise of the event is a celebration of single people, it’s become much larger over the last decade. The company goes to great lengths to hype its daily deals as it lures shoppers from around the world.
Like Amazon, Alibaba really really wants people to think of its made-up shopping holiday as an actual holiday. The Chinese company kicked its 2019 event off with a Taylor Swift concert, and has been steadily live blogging updates on how much shoppers are spending.
The company says it expects more than 500 million people to participate in the 2019 version of the shopping festival.