A BILLION DOLLARS AN HOUR: Alibaba demolishes Singles Day sales record, with half the day left

Alibaba CEO Jack Ma. Koki Nagahama/Getty

Transactions on Alibaba have passed $A12.7 billion in the first 12 hours of Singles Day, passing the mark from last year with half the day still to go.

More than $1.4 billion was bought within the first eight minutes, and the site saw $5.5 billion in sales in the first hour.

Sales on Singles day in 2014 were $12.7 billion last year, up from $8.2 billion the day before.

Alibaba alone is expecting to ship 20 million parcels from this years’ sales.

Singles Day is an annual event held on the 11/11 as a response to Valentines Day. It is billed as a time for a celebration of single life.

Alibaba became involved in 2009 when then CEO Daniel Zhang came up with the idea to cut prices on the bachelor’s day. It has since become the biggest 24 hour shopping period in the world, spreading to over 400,000 outlets. Many of these outlets receiving more orders in one day than they would in a month.

Total sales for Alibaba this year are projected to top $20 billion.

The day far eclipses the $8 billion spent by Americans on Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

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