Chris Skinner's blog

Shaping the future of finance

OMG!!! Did you see #Alibaba’s Singles Day numbers???

Chris Skinner Author Avatar

The 11th of November.

11 November.


Not 9/11 or 5/11. 11/11.

For Europeans and Americans, 11/11 means the end of the First World War. The Allies sat down and signed the Armistice Agreement with the Germans at 11:00 (Paris time) on 11th November, 1918, in Compiègne and ended the War. Poland reappeared as a nation after 123 years, and the millions who died in the trenches, well, their struggles were ended. We shall remember them.

For the Chinese, 11/11 is Singles Day. The day that they celebrate having no one to buy them presents, so I’ll just go and buy myself a load. It’s a fake day, like Valentines Day or Bring Your Dog to Work Day, but it works. Invented by Alibaba, it’s created an explosion of commerce in just one day.

I guess the got the idea off Amazon’s Black Friday, but Amazon’s Black Friday is more like a walk through the park compared to Alibaba’s Singles Day.

Here’s the numbers:

  • Alibaba Group Generated RMB213.5 Billion (US$30.8 Billion) of Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV), or sales if you prefer, during the 2018 11.11 Global Shopping Festival
  • Total GMV increased 27% compared to 2017
  • US$1 billion (RMB6.9 billion) of total GMV was settled through Alipay in the first 1 minute and 25 seconds
  • US$10 billion (RMB69.3 billion) of total GMV was settled through Alipay in 1 hour and 48 seconds
  • Over 180,000 brands participated in the day
  • 237 brands exceeded RMB100 million (US$15 Million) in GMV, including leading international brands Apple, Dyson, Kindle, Estée Lauder, L’Oréal, Nestlé, Gap, Nike and Adidas
  • Top countries selling to China: Japan, United States, South Korea, Australia and Germany
  • 230 countries and regions with completed transactions
  • Lazada participated in 11.11 as part of the Alibaba ecosystem, bringing the festival to consumers in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam
  • Cainiao handle logistics for Alibaba and delivered the first 100 million parcels in just 2.6 days, nearly five hours faster than a year ago and, by comparison, it took nine days to deliver the first 100 million parcels in 2013
  • the total number of 11.11 orders processed by Cainiao topped one billion for the first time, significantly higher than 812 million at last year’s event
  • 5 million import parcels were processed through customs clearance within less than five hours, compared to around 57 hours to process the same amount in 2016

In the hours leading up to the shopping event, Alibaba’s video streaming platform Youku hosted the fourth annual countdown gala to celebrate the official launch of the festival. Viewers were able to experience the gala live via Youku, as well as across China on two major Chinese TV stations. This year, the gala featured international celebrity appearances and performances from Miranda Kerr, Mariah Carey and Cirque du Soleil.

Now, I know it’s not fair … but … just to go back to the United States of Amazon … last year’s Black Friday saw online sales of just over $5 billion.


About the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival

The 11.11 shopping festival began in 2009 with participation from just 27 merchants as an event for merchants and consumers to raise awareness of the value in online shopping. Last year, over 140,000 brands and merchants participated in the global shopping event, with consumers spending RMB168.2 billion during the 24-hour period. For additional history and facts from last year’s festival, as well as the latest news and updates on the 2018 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, please visit Alizila:

Chris Skinner Author Avatar

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

Intelligent Money: Our Future Is Where We Do Not Think About Money, As Our Money Thinks For Us

What is the future?

Learn more

Learn more about Chris

About Chris Skinner

The Past, Present And Future Of Banking, Finance And Technology

Fintech expert Chris Skinner: countries need digital transformation to remain competitive

Join me on Linkedin

Follow Me on X!

Hire Chris Skinner for dinners, workshops and more

Learn directly from from one of the most influential people in technology, gain insights from the world's most innovative companies, and build a global network.

Chris’s latest book

Order now

Chris Skinner’s ‘Digital For Good’ Book Launch Event – CFTE

Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on FinTech 2023

Chris Skinner
Commentator, CEO of The Finanser and best-selling author at The Finanser

Thinkers360 Thought Leader

Contact Me

Global Awards

Lifetime Achievement Award

Global 100 - 2024 Winner

Chris Skinner - Financial Markets Advisor of the Year - The Finanser - UK 2023

Best Financial Markets Advisor of the Year 2023

30 Best Regtech Blogs and Websites 2023

Kids creating the future bank | TEDxAthens

Captain Cake and the Candy Crew

Captain Cake Winner of a Golden Mom’s Choice Award


Alex at the Financial Services

Gaping Void's Hugh MacLeod worked with the Finanser