Alibaba’s Singles Day makes a staggering $1bn in first minute

Ben StevensEcommerce News

Alibaba has raked in a whopping $23 billion (£17.9 billion) in just nine hours as its Singles Day Shopping event attracts millions of shoppers.

Singles Day, also known as 11.11, is set to run for 24 hours throughout the day and saw sales top $1 billion in the first minute and eight seconds.

Within the first nine hours Alibaba had made the equivalent of two thirds of the revenue its rival Amazon made in its entire third quarter this year.

This comes as the Chinese ecommerce giant seeks to flex its muscles on the global stage ahead of its public listing in Hong Kong later this month, in which it hopes to raise $15 billion (£11.7 billion) through stock sales.

READ MORE: Alibaba’s multi-billion 11.11 Singles Day event starts pre-sales as it promises to be bigger than ever

Despite these staggering figures, growth is expected to slow from a year earlier when revenues rose 27 per cent, increasing by between 20 and 25 per cent this year.

The 24-hour event, which is expected to see 500 million users make purchases this year, up 100 million on last year, was launched this morning by a performance from Taylor Swift followed by the live streaming of marketing for hundreds of brands.

This will mark the first year in Alibaba’s history when its founder and Chinese business icon Jack Ma will not be present at the company during 11.11, having left the company earlier this year.

Alibaba says 200,000 brands will participate in this year’s event, 22,000 of which will be from 78 markets outside of China.

Over 1 million new products will be on offer and thousands of opinion leaders will be livestreaming product showcases throughout the festival, while Alibaba plans to distribute two-billion digital cash vouchers called “red packets”.

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Ben StevensEcommerce News

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