Alibaba raked in a mind-boggling $11.9 billion (80.7 billion yuan) in sales in the first 12 hours of Singles’ Day this year. That’s compared to a mere $9.3 billion in sales during the same period last year. It puts them well on the way to reaching their $20 billion goal by the end of the day.
The “biggest shopping day in 5,000 years of Chinese history” appears to be living up to expectations. Alibaba’s Singles’ Day sales reached 10 billion yuan at 12:07 a.m. today, $4 billion at 12:30 a.m., $5 billion at 1 a.m., and $9 billion at 8 a.m.
For comparison, last year Alibaba only took in a measly $14.3 billion during the entire day, shattering sales records in the process.
This year, the company went all out with various sales promotions, an innovative marketing campaign that made use of virtual reality, and yet another countdown gala featuring various Western celebs including Kobe Bryant and One Republic. Katy Perry was also scheduled to perform at the event in Shenzhen yesterday, but canceled at the last moment due to a “family emergency.”
Perry’s absence hasn’t seemed to have hurt the company’s sales too much.