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Alibaba Singles’ Day sales hit $13 billion in first hour
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Attendees go by an Alibaba.com show at CES 2019 in Las Vegas.

David Becker | Getty Images

Chinese e-commerce large Alibaba mentioned on Monday that sales for its annual Singles’ Day procuring blitz hit 91.2 billion yuan ($13 billion) throughout the first hour, up 32% from final yr’s early haul of 69 billion yuan.

Akin to Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States, Singles’ Day has been promoted as a procuring fest by Alibaba Chairman and Chief Executive Daniel Zhang since 2009, rising quickly to turn into the world’s greatest on-line sales occasion.

Also generally known as “Double Eleven”, the pageant’s identify originates from the calendar date 11/11, with the 4 ones referencing being single. Alibaba noticed sales price $30 billion on its platforms on Singles’ Day final yr, dwarfing $7.9 billion U.S. on-line sales for Cyber Monday. Yet the 27% sales development was the bottom in the occasion’s 10-year historical past, spurring a seek for contemporary concepts.

The $486 billion Chinese retail juggernaut kicked off this yr’s 24-hour procuring fest with performances by American pop star Taylor Swift and native celebrities like Jackson Yee.

This is the first time Alibaba’s Singles’ Day doesn’t have flamboyant co-founder Jack Ma at its helm, after he resigned in September as chairman.

It additionally comes at a vital time for the corporate, which is seeking to elevate as much as $15 billion by way of a share sale in Hong Kong this month.

Alibaba continues to dominate the web procuring trade, however not with out competitors.

In addition to longtime rival JD.com, it now faces competitors from upstart Pinduoduo, which surged in recognition in 2017 by focusing on shoppers in China’s lower-tier cities.

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