China's Single's Day sales hit 1.4 bln Dollars in first 2 minutes

Chinese villagers snap up Buicks limited-edition Burberry scarves sell out in Singles’ Day promotionMore

Alibaba kicks off the annual event with a gala, which this year featured USA singer Mariah Carey, a Japanese Beyonce impersonator and a shoe-shopping-themed Cirque du Soleil performance.

Last year, the Chinese company expanded the event to the Western market, with downloads of its app AliExpress surging in the USA and UK.

Media captionAlibaba Singles Day: Dollars or data?

Over the last decade, Alibaba has nearly single-handedly turned Singles Day - November 11, or 11/11 - into a cultural phenomenon and by far the biggest day of the year for online shopping.

Less than 10 minutes later, or 12 minutes and 14 seconds into the sale, GMV surged to 36.2 billion yuan, outpacing its 2013 levels.

Alibaba had already generated more sales - $4.68 billion - just 10 minutes into Singles' Day 2018 than Amazon is estimated to have reached during its record-setting 2018 Prime Day event.

Singles Day began as a spoof event celebrated by unattached Chinese university students in the 1990s.

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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.

It is now the world's biggest online sales event and last year's total was more than Black Friday and Cyber Monday's totals combined, according to Bloomberg.

Will Singles Day keep on growing?

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.

This is also likely to be Alibaba's last November sale event with founder and chairman Jack Ma at its helm.

Chinese e-commerce platforms have come under fire in the past for peddling low-quality and counterfeit items.

Early sales figures are an indication that China's ongoing trade war with the United States has done little to dent domestic consumption so far.

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