Economy

China's Single's Day sales hit 1.4 bln United States dollars in first 2 minutes

China's Single's Day sales hit 1.4 bln United States dollars in first 2 minutes

Alibaba's Singles' Day surpassed Amazon's biggest shopping day of the year in less than 10 minutes.

Ren Xiaotong, a 27-year-old accountant in Beijing, said she suspected online stores jacked up their prices in the lead-up to Singles Day so they could declare that items were discounted.

Singles' Day has topped $US6.5 billion in sales already, 20 minutes into its 11/11 event, which kicked off at midnight on Sunday in Shanghai.

For comparison, Amazon's sales were estimated to have reached roughly $4.2 billion over the company's 36-hour Prime Day in July.

The Chinese company hit a record $1bn in sales in 85 seconds, and then just shy of $10bn in the first hour of the 24-hour spree.

The explosive start to Singles' Day comes as little surprise, despite some recent shakiness in the Chinese economy.

Alibaba kicked off this year's sales with a gala event that featured US singer Mariah Carey, a Japanese Beyonce impersonator and a shoe-shopping-themed Cirque du Soleil performance. Wrong. Singles' Day dwarfs Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

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The shopping frenzy has broken world records in e-commerce sales - surpassing last year's record at 17:34 Hong Kong Time (10:34 GMT).

"The whole world is looking", when it comes to Singles' Day sales figures, Zipser told Business Insider on Saturday. "It's when retailers use the best products and best prices to show their gratitude to our consumers".

Alibaba's founder Jack Ma also attended the event.

"Back in 2013, CNY 35 billion ($5.15 billion or roughly Rs. 34,523 crores) was our one-day GMV (gross merchandise volume)", said Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang in a live micro-blog posting on Alibaba's event.

This is huge for the e-commerce platform, and it had racked in over $1 billion in just a minute and 25 seconds.

Analysts say that despite continued strong growth, sales are likely to be hit by economic headwinds and new competition from competing sales events.

The occasion also has big environmental implications.