Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba says sales topped $1.51 billion in just over three minutes from the opening of Singles’ Day, an annual online discount sales gala that has become the world’s biggest shopping spree. Grace Lee reports.
It's a shopping spree of epic proportions, and all it took was three minutes for the numbers on this screen to reach 10 billion yuan. That's the equivalent of more than 1.5 billion dollars and it's just the beginning for sales in Alibaba's "Singles' Day," an annual online discount sales gala that's become the world's biggest spend-a-thon. Once a celebration for China's lonely hearts, Singles' Day has become a 24 hour extravaganza that outsells Black Friday and Cyber Monday U.S. sales combined. The event has shoppers around China scouting for bargains while delivery men and robots brace for an estimated 1.5 billion parcels expected over the next few days. Alibaba says the rise in China's middle class consumers is driving the sales and the overall total is likely to top last year's, something analysts and investors will be watching closely in the coming hours.