China’s online retail giant Alibaba says it has pulled in almost $8bn (£5bn) in sales from its annual ‘Singles’ Day’ shopping event.
The day, nicknamed China’s anti–Valentine’s Day has overtaken the US’ s Black Friday as the world’s most lucrative online shopping day.
Alibaba also surpassed more than $2 billion in sales volume processed through payments app Alipay within the first hour and 11 seconds of Nov. 11.
As of Tuesday morning (around 10 pm local time in Hangzhou China, where Alibaba is headquartered) sales had surpassed $8.6 billion, with 42.6% generated from mobile, according to Alibaba. Locally, there are still two hours left in the day.
Known as “Singles Day” in China, the holiday was adopted by Alibaba in 2009 as a play on a two-decades-old celebration of China’s bachelors. Since then, Alibaba’s Singles Day sales have grown at a meteoric pace, skyrocketing a whopping 5,740% from 2009 to 2013.
Alibaba, which heavily promotes Singles Day, had expected to ring up 50 billion yuan, or a record $8.2 billion, for the day. Industry tracker IDC said it was “very likely” Alibaba would reach $8.65 billion, up from $5.75 billion in 2013, $3.04 billion in 2012 and $820 million in 2011.
That would make Singles Day one of the most successful, and lucrative, manufactured holidays in history.
It compares with “Cyber Monday” in the US, the Monday after Thanksgiving, which is also marketed as a big online shopping day.