Alibaba's Singles’ Day sales hit $13.7b in first hour
SHANGHAI: Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding settled roughly 69 billion yuan (S$13.7 billion) in the first hour of its annual Singles'Day yesterday.
This is up roughly 21 per cent from last year's early haul of 57 billion yuan.
Singles' Day is the world's biggest online sales event and last year netted Alibaba 168 billion yuan in total sales.
A disproportionately large number of sales are recorded in the first minutes of the 24-hour spending spree, when transactions are recorded for items that have been put on hold.
Alibaba kicks off the annual event with a gala, which this year featured US singer Mariah Carey, a Japanese Beyonce impersonator and a shoe-shopping-themed Cirque du Soleil performance.
It is expected to be the company's final November sale event with founder and chairman Jack Ma at the helm.
Current chief executive Daniel Zhang will take over as chairman next year, the company said in September.
While sales growth remains steady, Alibaba's stock has dropped 16 per cent this year. This is due to economic uncertainties linked to brewing trade tensions between China and the US.
Earlier this month, Alibaba revised down its full-year revenue forecast. It sent a chill through investors as it said sales of big-ticket items would be impacted.
To compensate, the company will take in less income from its platforms in the near-term to retain brands and new buyers.
This year, Alibaba said there were around 180,000 brands participating in Singles' Day. - REUTERS