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Alibaba Sites Sold More Than $14 Billion of Goods in a Single Day

$14,341,847,366.00 to be exact.

Kara Swisher
Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Alibaba’s consumer shopping sites sold more than $14.3 billion of products on its biggest shopping day of the year, called Singles Day, marking around a 57 percent increase over last year’s total. The total for the last 24 hours, to be precise, was $14,341,847,366.00, according to a spokesman.

To give you a sense of how big this sale is, the $14.3 billion figure is just 27 percent less than the $19.6 billion worth of goods that eBay sellers sold in July, August and September combined. The number also dwarfs the $2 billion Americans spent on Cyber Monday desktop shopping in 2014.

Singles Day has become a popular day of celebration in China for young single people. Alibaba introduced the 24-hour sale — also known as the 11.11 Shopping Festival — in 2009 on its Tmall marketplace. That’s the site where global brands such as Puma and Uniqlo set up online storefronts. It then extended the sale to Alibaba’s other consumer shopping sites, including the mainstream marketplace Taobao.

While the sale is tremendous, Alibaba is a marketplace so it only records a fraction of the total as revenue since it doesn’t sell the goods itself. Alibaba does not take a cut of sales on Taobao, home to smaller businesses, instead generating revenue by selling advertising placements. Alibaba does take a small cut of sales on Tmall.

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