Well, it’s 11/11 on the other side of the globe which means Alibaba is already raking in loads of cash from Singles Day, otherwise known as the biggest day for global online shopping of the year.
The company has a running sales counter on its Alizila news website, which details the “gross merchandise volume” that it has fulfilled orders for so far. It’s currently just after noon in China and the company has already surpassed last year’s sales for Singles Day with nearly $18 billion USD in merchandise sold already, about $7 billion of which was sold in the first 30 minutes of the day.
The company reached $17.8 billion in sales by day’s end in 2016 so there’s plenty more orders to be made with just under 12 hours to go.
Singles Day, a Chinese holiday that’s sort of the single person’s response to Valentine’s Day, is, at its core, a day to treat yourself. Alibaba didn’t invent the holiday, but since 2009 they have come to draw the bulk of global attention for the mind-blowing sales they manage to pull off. It’s similar in theory to events like Amazon’s Prime Day, though the scope is much more expansive for Alibaba’s popular Tmall and Taobao online storefronts which offer a number of deals to entice shoppers.
Smashing through last year’s Singles Day sales will obviously be a great signal for the company which has been having a pretty great year already. Alibaba has more than doubled its stock price since this time last year, now sitting on a market cap north of $475 billion.