Alibaba
Alibaba/livemint.com

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba on Sunday tore smashed last year’s Singles Day sales record, racking up more than $30.8 billion in the 24-hour shopping event.

Gross merchandise value (GMV), a figure that shows sales across Alibaba’s various shopping platforms, surpassed last year’s $25.3 billion record at around 5:34 p.m. SIN/HK (4:34 a.m. ET) on Sunday, and kept marching higher through the rest of the day.

Advertise With Us

In Chinese currency terms, GMV totaled 213.5 billion yuan, easily beating last year’s figure of 168.2 billion yuan and representing a nearly 27 percent year-on-year rise. That was, however, smaller than the 39 percent year-on-year growth recorded in 2017.

Alibaba’s Singles Day GMV beat last year’s figure in yuan terms earlier than it toppled the dollar record. The Chinese currency is weaker against the greenback from a year ago, which means more sales in yuan are required to get the same dollar amount.

It was the 10th edition of China’s annual Singles Day event, which is also called the Double 11 shopping festival because it falls on Nov. 11. During the 24-hour period, Alibaba offered huge discounts across its e-commerce sites such as Tmall.

Alibaba’s Singles Day sales haul easily exceeded the spending by consumers during any single U.S. shopping holiday.

The event got off to a strong start with sales hitting $1 billion in one minute and 25 seconds. Just over an hour in, and sales exceeded $10 billion, five minutes and 21 seconds faster than last year. The number of delivery orders surpassed a billion.