Two isn’t always better than one, at least not for Alibaba Group.
The Chinese e-commerce giant broke records and calculated $25.3 billion in sales generated from 1.48 billion shoppers via Alipay on its annual Singles’ Day global shopping festival on Nov. 11, or 11/11, it said in a statement released Sunday. That’s an increase of 39 percent from last year.
Singles’ Day is perhaps the biggest online shopping extravaganza worldwide, dwarfing international equivalents like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The day, chosen for the collection of ones in its name, started out as a kind of “anti-Valentine’s Day” where China’s lonely hearts revel in their singlehood. It was popularised by Alibaba as an annual online shopping spree in 2009, where participating companies offered discounts to shoppers for a 24-hour period.
International stars like Jessie J, Nicole Kidman and Pharrell Williams graced the gala this year, with Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang expressing hopes to take it overseas, although no timeline was confirmed. Other Chinese online shopping platforms such as JD.com have also jumped on the bandwagon, contributing to a total of $38.2 billion in sales this year.
Alibaba said it raked in almost $12 billion within the first two hours, and the number more than doubled to over $25 billion by the end of the shopping bonanza.
Not everyone is celebrating Singles’ Day, however. Greenpeace released research days before the event showing it generated enormous amounts of CO2 emissions last year and called it a “catastrophe for the environment.”
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