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Alibaba rakes in record $31B in sales during China’s Singles Day online shopping blitz

Alibaba turned Singles’ Day into a shopping event in 2009 and built it into the world’s biggest online sales fest, dwarfing Cyber Monday in the US

Alibaba Group - Alibaba Group Holding Ltd rakes in record $31 billion in sales during China’s annual Singles Day online shopping blitz
China's biggest e-commerce company topped last year's record in 16-and-a-half hours

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) on Monday raked in a record $31 billion in sales during China’s annual Singles Day online shopping blitz. 

The country's biggest e-commerce company topped last year's record in 16-and-a-half hours. 

Alibaba turned China’s informal Singles’ Day into a shopping event in 2009 and built it into the world’s biggest online sales fest, dwarfing Cyber Monday in the US which took in $7.9 billion last year. The name is a play on the date, November 11, rendered 11/11 - or Double Eleven, as the event is also known.

The 24-hour event comes as Alibaba’s growth is under pressure from China’s slowing economy and the trade war with the US. 

Alibaba plans $15 billion shares sale in Hong Kong 

"Singles Day is being held up as a bellwether of Chinese consumers' willingness to spend in the face of a domestic slowdown," wrote Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst for Asia Pacific at Oanda, in a note Monday. But "deeply discounting prices always brings consumers out to play, no matter how bad the economy might be," he added.

Singles Day also is used as a gauge of Chinese consumer sentiment, has also become a shop window this year for Alibaba as the firm plans to sell $15 billion worth of shares in Hong Kong this month.

The US-listed firm has spent big to diversify its business, yet still earns over four-fifths of revenue from e-commerce.

Contact the author: [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter @PatrickMGraham

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