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Alibaba's Singles Day sales top $38 billion, making Black Friday look quaint

The shopping holiday got off to a strong start.

- 01:12

The 11/11 Global Shopping Festival is known as Singles Day for its collection of ones.


It only took one minute and eight seconds for Chinese retail giant Alibaba to hit $1 billion in sales during Singles Day. On Monday, the company said total sales for China's yearly 24-hour 11/11 Global Shopping Festival reached 268.4 billion RMB, which translates to roughly $38.4 billion. That's more than Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are expected to bring in this year combined.

The unofficial Chinese holiday, which falls on Nov. 11 each year, is known as Singles Day because of its collection of ones in the date. It's been supercharged in recent years thanks in part to Chinese online retail giants Alibaba and JD, with the former kicking off this year's sale with a giant Taylor Swift concert.

Singles Day broke records again this year, with Alibaba saying it topped the $30.8 billion in total sales for 2018 in under 17 hours. Alibaba also said it surpassed the total number of delivery orders from 2018. Despite comparisons to Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the US, Singles Day is actually much larger. Retail tracker Adobe Analytics estimates this year's holiday shopping weekend -- that's Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday -- will generate total retail sales of $29 billion

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