Chinese shopping festival smashes record
Reuters SHANGHAI (Reuters) — Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, said its Singles’ Day sales surged past last year’s total just after midday Saturday, hitting a record $18 billion, pointing to a likely giant haul for the world’s biggest shopping event.
Once a celebration for China’s lonely hearts, Singles’ Day has become an annual 24-hour extravaganza that exceeds the combined sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States, and acts as a barometer for China’s consumers.
After a star-studded event in Shanghai late Friday to ring in the event, which is held each year on Nov. 11, the volume of goods sold on Alibaba’s platforms raced past a billion dollars in two minutes and hit $10 billion in just over an hour. The company’s tills are set to shut at midnight Saturday.