Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba recorded a $30.7 billion sales on Singles’ Day during its 24-hour online retail frenzy on Sunday, but the event’s annual growth dropped to its slowest rate.
Shoppers in China and across the world grabbed up hot products including phones, furniture etc starting pre-dawn, with Alibaba recording approximately $10 billion in sales in the first hour after midnight.
Singles’ Day in China is the world’s biggest online sales event, outstripping the sales of U.S. shopping holidays Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. The Chinese event was originally a novelty student holiday to celebrate being single, countering the Valentines Day but has since grown into a month-long online shopping festival that peaks with a 24-hour sale on November 11.
Despite the record haul, the annual sales growth rate fell from 39% to 27% at the low end of analyst estimates, and the slowest rate in the event’s 10-year history.
It comes as the company is grappling with a weaker sales outlook amid rising trade tensions between China and the United States that have taken a bite out of China’s economy.