Alibaba rakes in $10b in sales in the first hour of Singles’ Day

Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba Group Holding Ltd settled roughly 69 billion yuan (US$9.92 billion) in the first hour of its annual Singles’ Day today, up roughly 21 per cent from last year’s early haul of 57 billion yuan.

Singles’ Day is the world’s biggest online sales event and last year netted Alibaba 168 billion yuan (US$24.15 billion) in total sales.

A disproportionately large number of sales are recorded in the first minutes of the 24-hour spending spree, when transactions are recorded for items that have been put on hold.

Alibaba kicks off the annual event with a gala, which this year featured US singer Mariah Carey, a Japanese Beyonce impersonator and a shoe-shopping-themed Cirque du Soleil performance.

Navojit Dastidar