The $17.8 billion (or 120.7 billion yuan) figured crushed Black Friday’s $4.45 billion in e-commerce sales last year and Alibaba’s own $14.3 billion record from 2015.
Singles Day is China’s biggest e-commerce day of the year, complete with a nationally televised party and concert. The day originated as an anti-Valentine’s Day, encouraging single people in China to buy gifts for themselves.
Alibaba broke records with 2016’s event, but that doesn’t even include sales from other companies.
Alibaba’s annual online shopping festival started out eight years ago in China with just 27 merchants taking part. Called Singles Day or Double 11, it has grown into the world’s biggest shopping day, and has just smashed its own record, with sellers on its platforms logging nearly $17.8 billion in transactions in 24 hours. Over 11,000 foreign brands joined in, including first-timers Apple, Sephora, Target, Victoria’s Secret and Maserati.
The company’s Chinese competitor JD.com didn’t post sales numbers, but said that orders were up 78 percent from 2015 at only 12 p.m. JD.com made up about 20 percent of Singles Day purchases, the analytics firm Clavis Insight said.
Alibaba reached $1 billion in sales in its first five minutes on Friday. Eighty-seven percent of Singles Day purchases were made via mobile, Clavis Insights said.
The best selling American brands during the sale were Apple, Nike, New Balance, Playboy and Skechers, Alibaba said.
Alibaba is Amazon’s biggest competitor worldwide.
On Black Friday last year, Amazon accounted for about 35 percent of e-commerce sales. On Cyber Monday, Amazon sold $2.68 billion. And Amazon held its own branded Prime Day shopping day in July, and said it received 18 percent more orders than on Black Friday.
Amazon has also been trying to make headway in China and Southeast Asia with new launches of Amazon Prime.