In One Hour, Alibaba's Singles Day Sales Exceed $10 Billion

The final Alibaba 11.11 Singles Shopping Event could close in on $25 billion, depending on the momentum in the last hours of the sale.

By comparison, American shoppers previous year spent more than $5 billion shopping online on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, according to Adobe, which tracks such data.

For this year's festival, Alibaba has employed a "new retail" strategy to bring together the online and offline shopping experiences.

This year, 140,000 different merchants took part in the event, including many global brands like Tampax and Asos.

Also known as "Single's Day" for the repeated "1" in 11 November, the event launched in 2009 by sector leader Alibaba has become a key date for Chinese manufacturers and retailers, accounting for a significant share of annual orders for many businesses.

Alibaba rivals such as JD.com also reported brisk business.

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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. Cyber Monday sales clocked in at $3.5 billion-resulting in total sales of about $8.7 billion as consumers prepared for the gift-giving holiday season. That's 39% above the 2016 Singles' Day sales total of $17.8 billion which was eclipsed after just 13 hours and nine minutes into the shopping extravaganza.

Double 11's transaction volume is pumped up by many Chinese holding off on purchases of everyday items like rice and toilet paper to take advantage of the price-slashing.

Greenpeace said "Singles Day" deliveries previous year created 130,000 tonnes of packaging waste - less than 10 percent of which is recycled.

"This is a big event for China, for the Chinese economy", Mr Joseph Tsai, Alibaba's co-founder and vice-chairman, said.

"This year, a series of live entertainment events including Tmall's See Now Buy Now Fashion Show along with other live streaming and interactive activities will bring together millions of people around the world to jointly celebrate a global shopping festival of the year".

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