China's Single Day - bigger than Black Friday and expected to smash $20bn

Hit Singles

Alibaba hit $5 billion in transactions in less than 15 minutes on Singles Day, blowing the opening minutes of past years for the one-day shopping event out of the water. For comparison, Alibaba shoppers spent $1 billion in the first 5 minutes of Single's Day previous year. "This is a huge increase from last year's figures which saw a collective spend of US$17.8 billion in 24 hours - more than the annual e-commerce sales of Brazil", James Hebbert, UK Managing Director from Hylink, a digital advertising agency, told the South China Morning Post. People often celebrate their independence by buying themselves gifts, and Alibaba has turned the holiday into a blowout extravaganza.

This year, some Japanese companies plan to launch products and run aggressive sale promotions on China's leading online shopping sites, like those operated by Alibaba.

Alibaba began running sales on the day in 2009 and it has since become the country's equivalent of the United States Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Amazon's own made up "Prime Day" celebration boasted $1 billion in sales for the first time this year, a feat that took the company 30 hours of sales to achieve. Citigroup Inc. estimates this year's sales could reach $24 billion.

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Joe Tsai, co-founder and vice-chairman of Alibaba Group, told 700 reporters from all over the world in Shanghai that a total of 140,000 brands are taking part this year, up 40 per cent from last year.

Other retailers will be trying to replicate Alibaba's success on Singles Day. For which we can thank Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. The company moved just 0.69% higher on Friday.

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