Alibaba amasses US$12bn sales in first hour of Singles' Day

Within the first hour of its 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, Alibaba Group amassed a gross merchandise volume (GMV) of about US$12.0 billion settled through Alipay, more than 43 minutes faster than last year. In the 68 seconds, the company saw a GMV of about US$1 billion settled through Alipay.

According to Alibaba, the top 10 countries which sold to China by GMV within the first hour are Japan, the US, South Korea, Australia, Germany, UK, France, Italy, Canada, and New Zealand. A quick check by?Marketing found that as of?8:44 am today, the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival already had more than US$22 billion GMV settled through Alipay.

This year's shopping festival saw over 22,000 international brands from 78 countries and regions participating on Alibaba?s cross-border online marketplace Tmall Global. Alibaba said that for the second year, Lazada will participate in the shopping festival and expects its shoppertainment to attract "a record number of participating merchants and consumers" in its six markets. Meanwhile, Alibaba estimates consumers savings from brand and platform promotions and coupons to be about US$7 billion.

Separately, Lazada Group said that its Singles' Day shopping festival has already outperformed last year's results with a new record of more than three million orders within the first hour across?six markets in Southeast Asia ? Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand.

In the first hour, Lazada said it also achieved more than double year-on-year growth in three areas across six countries ? total buyers, total orders and total sellers. Lazada?s first 11.11 delivery in the region beat last year?s record by 10 minutes and was delivered in just 80 minutes. A customer in Malaysia received her Samsung Galaxy A70 at 1.20am, delivered by Olivier Petra, CEO of Lazada E-logistics Malaysia.

In the hours leading up to the shopping event, Alibaba hosted its fifth annual countdown gala featuring US American singer Taylor Swift, along with other?international and local celebrities including G.E.M., Li Ronghao, Jackson Yee, Zhang Yixing, and Kana Hanazawa. This year?marks the 11th edition of the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival and Alibaba expects over 500 million users to participate within these 24 hours, about 100 million more users compared to last year.?According to Alibaba, last year?s gross merchandise volume hit US$30.8 billion, exceeding the online revenues of Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, three of the biggest retail shopping holidays in the US.

(Read also: Why live-streaming is the new frontier for revenue growth this Singles? Day)