Alibaba’s Singles’ Day sets online shopping record with $31B in sales

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Last year Black Friday online sales hit $5.03 billion, and Cyber Monday sales hit $6.59 billion-less than half of what Singles' Day brought in on, well, a single day.

The Chinese company hit a record $1bn in sales in 85 seconds, and then just shy of $10bn in the first hour of the 24-hour spree.

Chinese workers carry goods from Singles' Day online shopping onto a "Fuxing" high-speed bullet train from Beijing to Changsha. Twenty minutes in, sales had surpassed $US6.5 billion.

For the 10 annual shopping festival, Alibaba Group, whose businesses specialize in e-commerce, retail and artificial intelligence among others, utilized all of its ecosystems, giving carious promotions and discounts to attract online shoppers.

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Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba generated $3 billion in five minutes of its annual 24-hour online shopping sale during its "Singles" Day' sales blitz on Sunday with Apple, Xiomi featuring among the top brands.

Alibaba Group co-founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma gestures during Alibaba Group's 11.11 Singles' Day global shopping festival in Shanghai, China, November 11, 2018.

"If people aren't buying new homes, they aren't buying appliances", he said.

We're talking about Singles' Day, which takes place this Sunday, November 11. "Steep discounts on the Tmall Genie smart speaker during Singles' Day a year ago, as well as the introduction of lower-priced mini versions of several smart speakers in early 2018, were key in accelerating growth".

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Also known as Double 11, the shopping extravaganza will draw to a close at midnight.

While both Alibaba and competitor JD.com have pledged to use biodegradable packaging to cut down on waste, research conducted this month by Greenpeace East Asia said many plastics marked "biodegradable" and used by Chinese e-retailers can only break down under high temperatures in facilities that are limited in number across the country.

While sales growth remains steady, Alibaba's stock has dropped 16 percent this year amid economic uncertainties linked to brewing trade tensions between China and the United States. To compensate, the company will take in less income from its platforms in the near term in order to retain brands and new buyers, it said.

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