Online retail giant Alibaba today smashed records for the largest shopping day on the planet, making sales of over $1bn (£770.5m) in just 85 seconds.
The sales came during Singles Day, the world’s largest online retail festival. Alibaba’s total sales hit $10bn after one hour and had reached over $24bn after 16 hours.
The festival's sales eclipse the estimated $4bn spent by consumers during Amazon’s Prime Day in July and are larger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales combined.
Singles Day, which celebrates people not in relationships, first became a shopping festival in 2009. This year’s event was preceded by a gala with performances from Mariah Carey and Cirque du Soleil, and boasted participation from more than 180,000 brands.
“On the back of China’s explosive digital transformation, the festival’s astounding growth over the past decade has powered the steady growth of quality consumption sought by Chinese shoppers,” said Alibaba chief executive Daniel Zhang.
“The evolution also showcases the development of the Alibaba ecosystem over time expanding well beyond e-commerce.”
The festival’s first year brought in just $7.8m for the company. Since then, the number of internet users in China has risen to 802 million, 98 per cent of whom use mobile devices, according to a report by the China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC).
But the sales boost comes amid uncertainty for the Chinese conglomerate, which has cut its full-year revenue forecast by as much as six per cent due to concerns surrounding the on-going trade dispute with the US.
The company’s chairman, Jack Ma, has seen his fortune decline more than $8bn since January, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
In October Alibaba opened two data centres in London, marking its first expansion into the UK.