Alibaba's Singles Day beats Amazon Prime Day

Love Bonito is slashing up to 70 per cent off their prices online for 11.11

Just before 4 p.m. today in China, the sales reached 168.2 billion yuan ($24.2 billion) - surpassing the total purchases from last year's Singles Day, according to figures posted online by Alibaba Group.

This year's tally breaks from gloomy forecasts about the world's second-largest economy, which is struggling with a tariff war with the United States, a stock market slump and slowing overall growth.

Alibaba's Singles' Day sale apparently is world's biggest sale even bigger than America's Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

Singles' Day was the brainchild of Mr Ma and Mr Zhang, who came up with the idea of the shopfest a decade ago.

November 11 is being celebrated since 2009 as an online antidote to the sentimentality surrounding Valentine's Day.

By the one hour and 47 minute mark, that number had increased tenfold.

In the lead-up this year's event, there were concerns that Alibaba and other e-commerce sites like JD.com, which runs a similar sale, may be hit hard by new tariffs on US goods.

It was created by Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce giant, which this year has racked up sales of an eye-watering $25 billion last year and is expecting to clear $35 billion this year.

"If people aren't buying new homes, they aren't buying appliances", he said.

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Indeed, Alibaba slashed the price of its Tmall Genie speaker from RMB499 ($74) to RMB99 ($15) during Singles' Day 2017 to drive sales.

A2 was the sixth biggest cross-border brand sold on Alibaba during Singles Day.

What is Alibaba's Singles' Day sale? .

Alibaba kicked off this year's sales with a gala event that featured USA singer Mariah Carey, a Japanese Beyonce impersonator and a shoe-shopping-themed Cirque du Soleil performance.

Will Singles Day keep on growing?

It's expected to be the company's final November sale event with founder and chairman Jack Ma at the helm.

Alibaba Group chief executive Daniel Zhang said the record sales figures showed the strength of China's "consumption economy".

"Chinese consumers, especially the millennials, are incredibly confident about their futures, and that tends to enable spending, when you feel like you're going to make more next year than this year", said Jeffrey Towson, a professor of investment at Peking University Guanghua School of Management. Alibaba is also using the occasion to test the limits of its cloud computing, delivery, and payment capabilities, as well as try out new business endeavours that are uprooting traditional retailers.

Earlier this month it revised down its full-year sales outlook by 4-6 percent, sending further chills through the company's stock price, which has dropped roughly 16% this year after nearly doubling in 2017.

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