Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has beat last year’s record in sales for China’s annual Singles Day online shopping bonanza, hitting $31 billion in under 24 hours.
The company, which recorded $30 billion over 24 hours in 2018 topped last year’s record in 16.5 hours. Meanwhile, presales in the run-up to Singles Day smashed targets with the likes of Estée Lauder hitting a record $143 million in pre-sales and Alibaba users recording $14 million worth of Apple iPhone 11s during the three weeks before the online shopping event — which reaches more sales than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.
Singles Day is an informal, anti-Valentine's Day holiday in China celebrating people who aren't in relationships. Its date, November 11, was chosen because the date is written as four ones or singles.
Alibaba started offering Singles Day discounts in 2009 and has since turned the day into a 24-hour bonanza of online shopping in China and one of the largest, if not, biggest shopping events in the calendar year.
Although the shopping event broke records again in e-commerce sales, there’s still signs of the market maturing as it becomes more established.
A recent survey from research firm Oliver Wyman found that buyers are expecting to spend nearly 10% more on Singles Day this year compared to 2018. Furthermore, Alibaba reported a 27% uptick in Singles Day revenue.
"We continue to feel very confident about the growth potential of the economy," Alibaba chief marketing officer Chris Tung told CNN in an interview. "We are pushing deeper towards the less developed areas of China, to reach more new online shoppers, so there's a huge untapped opportunity there."