Chinese consumers spend billions during Alibaba's 11th 'Singles' Day' shopping spree
Star studed event opening
Hitting 100 bn in 63 mins
The total gross merchandise volume settled through its payments platform Alipay hit 100 billion yuan ($14.3 billion) within 63 minutes and 59 seconds -- 43 minutes ahead of last year's pace.
Bargains for the sake of consumer sentiment
The event is considered a useful annual gauge of consumer sentiment in the world's second-biggest economy.
(In pic: An employee works at an Alibaba Tmall logistics centre in Suzhou.)
Originally for China's unmarried
Alibaba kicked off the event with a glitzy gala show in Shanghai, headlined this year by US Grammy-winner star Taylor Swift, as it counted down to the start of shopping at midnight.
But Alibaba, based in the eastern city of Hangzhou, latched on to it a decade ago as a shopping promotion akin to the late-November US "Black Friday" retail crush. Other online platforms and Chinese retailers have tapped in as well.
Beating itself in sales volume mark
The full 24-hour tally last year was $30.7 billion, another record for Alibaba, but the pace of growth slowed from previous years.
US-listed Alibaba earlier this month said the company's sales revenue remained robust in the most recent quarter, ending on September 30, but that growth had slowed to 40 percent compared to 54 percent in the same quarter last year.
Without Jack Ma
Ma stepped aside as leader of the Alibaba Group in September after 20 years in which the charismatic former English teacher's e-commerce company helped unleash the power of Chinese consumer spending.
Today, Alibaba has more than half the domestic e-commerce market and is among the world's most valuable companies.
Fuelling a culture of excessive consumption?
Environmentalists, however, accuse Alibaba and other e-tailers of fuelling a culture of excessive consumption and adding to a growing national problem of overflowing waste, as 11.11 deliveries create mountains of discarded packaging.
(In pic: A delivery man of Alibaba's logistics unit Cainiao talks on a phone as he delivers a parcel in Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region.)