Alibaba Singles’ Day sales reach USD 38.4 billion, up 26% (updated)

Sales promotions are rolled out on November 11, enticing shoppers to hit the “order” button on this day.

Photo: Provided to KrASIA by Alibaba

Chinese e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba is breaking sales records yet again on its annual Singles’ Day, China’s biggest online shopping festival, generating RMB 268.4 billion (USD 38.4 billion) in sales, 26% more than last year’s RMB 213.5 billion (USD 30.5 billion) sales mark, according to the company’s press release.

Alibaba said on its Tmall Weibo account that merchandise sales on Alibaba’s China retail marketplaces, Lazada, AliExpress, Kaola, and new retail and consumer services platforms surpassed RMB 168.2 billion (USD 24 billion) at 10:04 a.m. on Monday, or just a little over ten hours after China’s Singles’ Day sale kicked off at midnight, shattering the platform’s Singles’ Day total sales in 2017.

By 2:21 p.m., sales topped RMB 200 billion (USD 28.5 billion).

By 4:31 p.m., total sales hit over RMB 213.5 billion, exceeding Alibaba’s entire transactions on 2018 Singles’ Day.

Alibaba’s 2018 total sales numbers did not include transactions via Kaola and consumer service platforms, as Alibaba has incorporated these platforms into its network from 2019.

Live streaming has increasingly become a significant channel for e-commerce sales. By 1:03 a.m., transactions made via Taobao’s live streaming platform had exceeded the same date’s total sales last year on the same channel. By 8:55 a.m., a total of goods worth RMB 10 billion were purchased via Taobao or Tmall by Alibaba’s users when watching live-streamed presentations.

The period around Single’s Day, also known as Double 11, which gets its name from the numeric calendar date of November 11, have turned a critical time frame for all e-commerce players in China as well as some countries in Southeast Asia.

By 9:00 a.m. on Monday, JD.com had facilitated more than RMB 165.8 billion in transactions on its e-commerce platform since the beginning of Nov 1, exceeding the total sale value of RMB 159.8 billion in the 11 days between Nov 1 and Nov 11.

Total transaction volume on JD.com during these 11 days topped RMB 204.4 billion, according to its official WeChat account.

This article was updated to reflect developments.