Alibaba Sells ¥10 Billion in 125 Seconds for Singles' Day 2018

By Ryan Gandolfo, November 12, 2018

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Singles’ Day officially ended Monday morning at 12am, capping off China’s largest-ever 24-hour online shopping spending spree. This year, Tmall has reported over RMB213 billion in Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV, aka total sales), surpassing last year’s total sales by 27 percent.

While the tech company put on quite the show on Saturday evening, with guest appearances from the likes of Mariah Carey, Miranda Kerr, Jay Chou and our main man Jack Ma, the real excitement started at the conclusion of the Tmall Singles Day Gala, when the clock struck midnight.

This year, Tmall’s Singles’ Day reached RMB10 billion GMV in an earth-shattering two minutes and five seconds, equating to RMB80 million in sales per second in the first 125 seconds. Last year, the RMB10 billion mark was reached in three minutes and one second, nearly a third longer than this year. At four minutes and 20 seconds, total sales for 2018 had reached over RMB19 billion, surpassing 2012 Singles’ Day’s 24-hour sales total.

According to Alizila, a news hub for Alibaba Group, 230 countries completed transactions with Tmall during the one-day event, with Japan selling the most to China by GMV. The United States finished second and South Korea and Australia came in third and fourth, respectively. 

So, what exactly were people putting into their online shopping carts?

According to Tmall, within the first hour of the 24-hour spending spree, 1.1 million locally sourced Chinese hairy crabs were purchased. Fresh shrimp from Ecuador were also scooped up at lightning speed, with 13.6 million shrimp sold in the first hour. Even cars were snatched up in no time, as Tmall’s Land Rover fleet was sold out in only 13 seconds (reportedly, there were only 90 available Land Rover luxury SUVs, each worth RMB265,900).

This morning, the hashtag #Howmuchdidyouspendonsinglesday was a trending topic on Weibo, ushering in a stream of comments, including actual screenshots of netizens’ Taobao and Tmall orders. One shopper, at 1.07am on Monday morning, posted a picture of her purchases, showing 55 packages en route and another 88 parcels still in shipping. She wrote, “maybe I went a little overboard.” 

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Image via Weibo

Others posted screenshots of empty shopping carts and package orders, commenting that they’ve been able to control themselves this year.

Another user posted a picture of her impressive Excel spreadsheet that she used to keep track of good deals at the beginning of the event. “Hahahaha I’m really a hard worker, but still I can’t compare to some of these other shoppers.”

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Image via @成都商报/Weibo

And now, with the purchases made, the logistical nightmare of delivering RMB213 billion-worth of goods begins!

[Cover image via @人民日报/Weibo]

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