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Nov 15, 2017 | 2 min read


$25.3 bn in 24 hours: Alibaba made history, again

The e-commerce giant smashed the Double 11 record once again. But what does that mean exactly?

Xiaolei Gu

Performance Marketing Manager

We all knew that Alibaba would smash the Double 11 record this year. What we didn’t expect was for it to happen so effortlessly and so fast.

In 3 minutes and 1 second, the Chinese GMV had already made over $1.5 bn. At 1:49 PM, it had already broken last year’s $11.85bn record. And by the end of the day, the screen at Alibaba’s data center in Shanghai froze at RMB 168.2 bn ($25.3bn), constituting a 39% growth over last year.

Double 11, once a celebration for China’s lonely hearts, has now become the world’s biggest 24-hour shopping frenzy exceeding the combined sales of Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States.

With Alibaba’s huge resources and massive marketing and branding investments in its brands, Double 11 has now turned into a cultural phenomenon. The lavish Double 11 Gala organized by Alibaba each year is now the second largest cultural event after the Chinese New Year Gala by CCTV. This year, Nicole Kidman, Pharrell Williams and Maria Sharapova participated in the Double 11 countdown. Adding to the fun, Jack Ma, Alibaba’s founder, even filmed a Kungfu movie with top kungfu movie stars to promote Chinese culture as an aftermath of this year’s Double 11.

Nicole Kidman with Jack Ma (Founder of Alibaba) and Jing Wu (Chinese King Fu movie star).

credit: The Australian

Other than the celebrities and performances, consumers were also entertained by new technologies…

Robot Band performing with Chinese artist


AR Fan Bingbing in your living room

Tmall Dressing Mirror


This year’s Double 11 in Figures below


TOTAL SALES VOLUME: RMB 168.2 bn /$25.3bn (39% more than last year)


TOTAL PARCELS TO BE SHIPPED: 812 MM (23.6% more than last year)




As we can see, there’s no sign of e-Commerce in China slowing down, and in fact, it’s accelerating faster than ever. Alibaba no longer rules the Double 11 game anymore. This year, its main rival in China, JD.com, scored an impressive 127 bn yuan ($19bn), and other e-Commerce platforms are seeing significant growth in sales as well.

Impressive numbers like these don’t come easy and it’s not the end of the story. The hearty message between Tmall and Cainiao (Alibaba’s delivery platform) on Weibo reveal the massive challenge for logistics and delivery. To handle the massive volume of deliveries, new technologies have been deployed to speed up efficiency by Chinese e-Commerce giants. Advanced information infrastructure, electronic order sheets, automated sorting machines, logistics robot and auto-delivery… we expect more innovations along the line to come into life and into mass application in the near future!

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