Crazy statistics from China’s biggest shopping day of the year

Fired up.
Fired up.
Image: Reuters/Aly Song
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Singles Day, Alibaba’s annual day-long online shopping bonanza in which the e-commerce giant offers heavy discounts on a wide range of products, just came to an end.

On the evening prior, a number of international stars made appearances at a countdown gala Alibaba held in Shanghai. Football star Luís Figo got shots blocked onstage, Pharrell performed alongside Chinese singers Kris Wu, Karen Mok, and pianist Lang Lang, and Nicole Kidman introduced Jack Ma’s upcoming martial arts film Gong Shou Dao.

At midnight local time on November 11, the shopping commenced. Unsurprisingly, sales figures were enormous.

  • Citigroup predicted that Singles Day would drive $24 billion in purchases across Taobao, Tmall, and and other e-commerce properties. In fact, Alibaba exceeded expectations by a small margin. Over the 24-hour period, consumers bought 168.3 billion yuan ($25.4 billion) in goods from Alibaba.
  • At one point over the 24-hour period Alipay, the payment service run by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial, was processing a record 256,000 payment transactions—more than double from last year’s peak
  • Alibaba surpassed last year’s final purchase figure of $17.8 billlion at 1:09 PM local time, 13 hours after the festival began.
  • China’s State Post Bureau estimates (link in Chinese) that over 1 billion packages will be delivered across China between Nov. 11 and Nov. 16, as consumers wait to receive their orders. That will amount to roughly the number of packages delivered across China throughout the entire year 2006.