Online sales overview

Singles’ day by the numbers

Click to hide and compare

US$ Billions 5 1 10 15 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 The biggest year on-year growth: 53% 3 5.9 9.3 14.3 18.1 2 2.3 2.6 3 3.4 1.9 2.4 2.7 3.3 1.4

$1 billion worth of orders were placed in the first five minutes of last year's Alibaba event.

November 11

The four “ones” making up November 11, or 11/11, are said to evoke “bare branches” – a Chinese expression for being unattached. As an alternative to Valentine’s Day, Chinese University students began celebrating being single on November 11 during the 1990s in reaction to society placing so much emphasis on relationships. China’s rising middle class turned the campus event into a cultural phenomenon.

Mainland China is by far the biggest driver of sales, but Alibaba has ambitions to make the event global, by having foreign brands sell to the Chinese. It also promotes AliExpress and to overseas markets. AliExpress, which sells to consumers, is promising “millions of deals," which it can ship anywhere in the world.

The Singles' Day figures are from Alibaba's China consumer retail platforms alone, it doesn't include Alibaba's other platforms (e.g. AliExpress) and it doesn't include the sales on other ecommerce platforms in China.

Enjoying SCMP graphics?

Here are some other digital native projects by SCMP graphics you might want to visit

Or just visit our graphics home page

Hi, Internet Explorer user!

This site has some features that may not be compatlibe with your browser. Should you wish to view content, switch browsers to either Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox to get an awesome experience