Alibaba's Singles' Day sales have already passed $25 billion

Taylor Swift whose latest album

Last year's sales, for comparison, hit $30.8 billion - a 27% uptick from 2017 and more than the amount US retailers had sold during Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

This anti-Valentine's Day unofficial holiday is a celebration for people who aren't in relationships, and many companies, including Alibaba, now use it as the basis of sales events that target younger consumers.

Sales topped $800 million in the first minute, and surpassed $8.7 billion in just the first 20 minutes of the deals surfacing online, according to Bloomberg.

Within the first two hours, the total GMV exceeded 120.7 billion renminbi (USD 17.24 billion), surpassing the total GMV of 2016 11.11.

The e-commerce behemoth had recorded a total sales of $30.8 billion worth of merchandise during its one-day shopping event in 2018.

Singles Day began in 2009, with 27 merchants teaming up to offer a unified online presence that aimed to raise the profile of internet shopping.

China's economy is in the midst of an extended slowdown, exacerbated by the trade dispute with the United States, and the Singles' Day fire sale is viewed as a snapshot of consumer sentiment in the world's second-biggest economy. Swift also performed at Prime Day concert for rival Amazon.com earlier this year.

It took only 63 minutes and 59 seconds for sales to hit 100 billion yuan ($14.3 billion).

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The Chinese retail juggernaut, with a market value of $486 billion (roughly Rs. 34,70,000 crores), kicked off this year's 24-hour shopping fest with performances by American pop star Taylor Swift and local celebrities such as Jackson Yee.

During Singles Day pre-sales, which kicked off three weeks ago, Estée Lauder raked in a record $143 million in pre-orders, Alibaba said on Sunday.

Hosted at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, Alibaba's shopping gala was broadcast live across almost 30 platforms and TV channels.

2019 marks the 11th Singles Day event.

More than 200,000 brands are participating, offering deep discounts to a projected 500,000 million shoppers.

This is the first time Alibaba's Singles Day is being held since its flamboyant co-founder Jack Ma resigned as chairman in September to "start a new life".

Chinese consumers plan to spend 54% more this year than in 2018, but 78% of Chinese surveyed said they would think twice about buying US products due to loyalty to their country, AlixPartners found in a recent survey of more than 2,000 Chinese consumers.

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