Alibaba Singles Day sales hit $1 billion in just 2 minutes


Alibaba kicked off this year with gala featuring a mix of Chinese and American stars, including musician Pharrell Williams, actress Nicole Kidman and tennis player Maria Sharapova.

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Available on Alibaba's main Tmall platform, the offer comes at a price of 11,111 yuan ($1,675) instead of the 99,999 yuan, the normal cost. And past year, it took the Chinese e-commerce giant a full hour to reach $5 billion in transactions. People often celebrate their independence by buying themselves gifts, and Alibaba has turned the holiday into a blowout extravaganza.

Major Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding processed roughly 120 billion yuan ($18 billion in today's exchange rate) worth of online transactions on Singles Day previous year.

In recent years, Singles Day has garnered more revenue than both Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined as Alibaba is the largest e-commerce retailer in the Eastern hemisphere. Sales online in China have exceeded the two biggest shopping days in the USA combined - Black Friday and 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.

To put this year's sales in perspective, it took Alibaba almost five minutes (or more than twice as long) to hit $1 billion in sales on Singles Day in 2016. has also partnered with Walmart to help fill customer's orders. For which we can thank Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

But not just any Friday.