The largest online sales event in the world has kicked off, with Singles Day 2019 already generating billions for retailers in China's answer to Black Friday.
Spearheaded by Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba and held every year on November 11th, the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, or Singles Day as it is widely known, sees thousands of brands push online discounts to shoppers.
This year's event appears to have been one of the biggest yet, with Alibaba reporting that it saw $1 billion worth of sales through its Alipay platform in just in the first minute and eight seconds. Within the first hour, this had grown to $12.0 billion.
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Alibaba reported on its Twitter feed that the number of delivery orders exceeded one billion at 4:33pm local time, meaning it had surpassed the total from 2018's event, with initial reports suggesting total sales of around $30.4 billion across the day.
Singles Day began in 2009, with 27 merchants teaming up to offer a unified online presence that aimed to raise the profile of internet shopping.
It has mushroomed since then, with more than 200,000 brands participating in this year's event, as consumers across China look to treat themselves with new purchases.
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