Also known as "Double 11" for the November 11 date, Singles Day is billed as the world's biggest one-day online shopping festival.. The 2017 Singles Day sale is already over $3 billion ahead.
Sales from last year's Singles Day grossed $17.8 billion. Pre-orders accounted for a billion dollars of sales on Alibaba's platforms in the first two minutes and totaled about $10 billion in just over an hour.
The percentage of GMV generated by mobile users was 90% - a clear sign that Alibaba has realized the goal it set several years ago to migrate consumers to the platform they hold in their hand. Just five minutes after midnight, Alipay, Alibaba's online payment system, was already processing 256,000 transactions per second, double the highest rate recorded a year ago.
"At 12:07am, the number of payment transactions processed by Alipay surpassed 100 million, equivalent to the total number of payment transactions processed during 2012", it said. It's not just an event for those in China anymore, Singles Day is global.
Nicole Kidman and Pharrell Williams were among the stars who helped get the eighth Singles' Day off to a glittering start.
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An estimated 1.5 billion parcels will need to be delivered over the next week.
The event, now indulged in by all consumers whether with or without a better half, takes pride of place in the calendar of manufacturers and retailers in the country, making up a significant share of annual orders for many businesses.
Alibaba ( BABA ) racked up another huge take from its "11.11 Global Shopping Festival", but JD.com ( JD ) also enjoyed a sales windfall.
"This study provides a deep dive into the largest e-commerce market in the world". Ahead of the event, the retailer also outfitted almost 100,000 of its Tmall stores across China with facial recognition technology to process payments. Last year, there were 98,000. "We will see tens of billions of dollars injected overseas (by Alibaba)", said Li Chengdong, a Beijing-based independent e-commerce analyst.