The world’s biggest annual online shopping festival Singles’ Day is just around the corner., the second biggest e-commerce company in China, kicked off the Flash Deals campaign yesterday as a run-up to the actual festival that takes place every year on November.

According to figures provided by (in Chinese), its shopping platforms logged a record RMB 6 billion in sales within the first hour. Moreover, the sales of the international shopping site (全球购) doubled comparing to the previous year.

In the first hour of Flash Deals, smartphones, flat screen TVs, air conditioners, gaming laptops, and refrigerators were the top five categories in terms of sales. According to, over 20 million products offered flash sales—limited-time discounts—on the first day.

Comparing to the same time last year, ultrabooks sales tripled, alcohol and beverages sales grew more than 3 times, and smartphone sales more than doubled.

Consumers from Guangdong, Beijing, Jiangsu, Sichuan, and Shandong spent the most within the first hour.

The also launched an eleven-day promotional campaign last year, which generated a whopping $19.1 billion in sales.

The 24-hour shopping frenzy debuted in 2009 by Alibaba. The festival quickly became extremely popular in China that other e-commerce players like, Suning, started launching their own shopping campaigns. Between China’s largest retailers—Alibaba and—sales totaled a staggering $44.5 billion in 2017. As competition rises, these online retailers have been investing more resources each year not only on the campaigns and marketing stunts to build up the hype but also on boosting tech capabilities.

Weeks before Singles’ Day Alibaba launches China’s biggest robotic warehouse, which is capable of fulfilling 50% more orders than a traditional warehouse. also announced that it will dedicate 50 unmanned warehouses (in Chinese) all across China to meet the expected surge of demand on Singles’ Day.

Overall, China’s Singles’ Day sales have exceeded the sales of two of the largest shopping festivals in the US—Black Friday and Cyber Monday—combined.

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Nicole Jao

Nicole Jao is a reporter based in Beijing. She’s passionate about emerging trends, news, and stories of human interest within the world of technology. Connect with her on Twitter or via email:

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