Alibaba's Singles' Day sales hits $13 billion in the first hour — up 32% from 2018

singles dayVCG via Getty Images

Alibaba kicked off Singles' Day — its massive global shopping event — to the tune of $13 billion in the first hour, an increase of 32% from 2018. To celebrate the start of the annual event, Taylor Swift joined local artists for a performance at the Singles' Day opening gala in Shanghai.  Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Inc said on Monday that sales for its annual Singles' Day shopping blitz hit 91.2 billion yuan ($13 billion) within the first hour, up 32% from last year's early haul of 69 billion yuan.

Akin to Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States, Singles' Day has been promoted as a shopping fest by Alibaba Chairman and Chief Executive Daniel Zhang since 2009, growing rapidly to become the world's biggest online sales event.

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