World Economy

Alibaba Sales Reach $1b in 8 Minutes

Alibaba Sales Reach $1b in 8 MinutesAlibaba Sales Reach $1b in 8 Minutes

The world’s biggest online shopping holiday, ‘Singles’ Day’ kicked off Wednesday morning in China—and the numbers are already massive. Chinese e-retailer Alibaba’s merchandise sales exceeded $1 billion within the event’s first eight minutes, beginning at midnight in Beijing.

That’s rocket speed compared to last year, when the company took an hour to sell 11 billion yuan ($1.8 billion) worth of goods—and is a stark illustration of how much bigger China’s online shopping market is than the US’s.

Last year, the US’s largest online shopping event, “Cyber Monday” brought in over $2 billion in sales from desktops during the entire day, ComScore reported.

By 8am in Beijing, 8 hours into the event, Alibaba had processed 41.7 billion yuan ($6.56 billion) in sales. That’s more than Americans bought on desktops in the entire five-day period between Thanksgiving and the US’s “Cyber Monday” last year—and about $2 billion more than Netflix’s or Macy’s overall sales last year.

Then the numbers just kept getting bigger:

Just before 10am, Alibaba processed more than 50 billion yuan ($7.86 billion), more than the NFL’s annual revenues in 2014.

By noon, the company claimed it surpassed 57.1 billion yuan—its sales orders from the previous year.

And just before 2PM, the company announced it had sold more than 63.6 billion yuan worth of goods, just over $10 billion, more than car maker Ferrari was valued in its recent IPO.

Last year on Singles’ Day, Alibaba’s entire sales were $9.3 billion during the 24-hour period, a 60% increase from the year before. Analysts from SunTrust are predicting a 30% jump this year to $12 billion.