Alibaba’s Singles’ Day shopping festival hits $1 billion with 1.08 minutes

On Monday, Alibaba Group Holding Inc stated, sales from its annual Singles’ Day shopping event touched $22.63 billion (158.31 billion yuan ) in the first nine hours, up by 25% from 126.72 billion yuan a year earlier.

China celebrates Singles’ Day as a shopping festival much like Black Friday or Cyber Monday. It has grown to become the world’s largest online sales event.

Alibaba kicked off this year’s 24-hour shopping festival with performances by American pop star Taylor Swift and local celebrities such as Jackson Yee, which saw sales touch $1 billion within the first minute and eight seconds; it reached 84 billion yuan in the first hour.

According to Alibaba, it expects more than 500 million users to participate in the shopping festival this year, around 100 million more than the previous year.

For the company, the fest comes at a crucial time when it is looking to raise up to $15 billion through an IPO in Hong Kong later this month.

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