Alibaba Singles' Day sales race past $ 10 bn in first hour

It’s almost time for the world’s largest online shopping day

Shares of Alibaba were relatively unchanged as the Chinese Holiday started on Friday in the US.

Last year, Americans spent a record $12.8 billion online between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday, according to analytics firm Adobe Digital Imprints.

It is called Singles Day because it is on 11/11, honoring the number one and the people who are single and would like to treat themselves to something nice. In 2016, Alibaba had $17.8 billion in sales on November 11, more than the $12.8 billion spent in the United States in the four days after Thanksgiving.

This year, some Japanese companies plan to launch products and run aggressive sale promotions on China's leading online shopping sites, like those operated by Alibaba.


Comparing Single's Day to Amazon's "Prime Day" gives a good idea of the massive scale of the holiday.

The headline sales number is likely to top last year's total of 113bn yuan (£13bn), an increase of almost a third from 2015. With more global brands participating in the holiday with deals, sales could be much higher than a year ago, according to Squali. Alibaba's Ma, a tai chi aficionado, is set unveil a short film starring himself performing martial arts alongside Jet Li, "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story"'s Donnie Yen and Thailand's Tony Jaa. A Chinese white liquor maker wants to lift lonely spirits by offering a lifetime supply of booze for less than $1,700. The pictures of the bottles are wrapped with the words "This liquor is your partner for life".

But tomorrow, no matter what convention you adopt for writing the day and the month, it will be 11.11.

The endless batch can be inherited by a family member if the customer dies within five years of the purchase.

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