Alibaba Holdings Ltd., broke its own one-day record of online sales making $2 billion in just the first hour of the "11.11" event otherwise known as the "Singles Day" sale.
Alibaba's total Gross Merchandize Volume (GMV) crossed $1 billion in just 17 minutes and 11 seconds across its worldwide online marketplaces and mobile GMV accounted for nearly half of the entire GMV (48 percent).
The sale honors "Singles Day" – celebrated every 11 November in China to either celebrate or lament being single! But the sale drew tons of international unique buyers as well. With ten more hours to go, the company is bound to rake in huge amounts.
Alibaba started conducting its own promotions and "sale days" for "Singles Day" on its TMall and Taobao websites aping the West's "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" but this year's event managed to beat "Cyber Monday" in terms of transactions.
Alibaba's "Single's Day" event is often compared to Hallmark's "Valentine's Day" sale.
"November 11 is a key milestone for Alibaba. The company used the festival to build its dominance as an e-commerce player linking businesses to consumers in China. With the IPO of Alibaba, the company has the ambition to make this brand go global," Allen Xu, the managing director of OgilvyOne Shanghai consultancy, told Bloomberg.
"It offers massive discounts it's been marketing its retailers and in fact the day has become so important to Alibaba it has actually trademarked the date November 11 or double 11. Now that the company has listed in New York, it wants to bring this holiday to the world by inviting more international brands," CNBC's Eunice Yoon said.
Alibaba is no stranger to breaking records. In September this year, the e-commerce giant claimed the title of the world's largest IPO raising about $25 billion in its debut offering. Its shares started trading at $68 and closed at $93.89 per unit on its first day at the New York Stock Exchange.
As the "Singles Day" sale catapulted Alibaba to new highs, Jack Ma said that Alibaba's Alipay Unit – the company's financial arm – will go public soon.
"The main goal of listing isn't for more money, but to let more people share in and be part of it," Ma told CCTV in an interview, Reuters reports.