"This year we are going to engage the entire Alibaba economy". That item, which falls under the category "customer management revenue", rose 26 percent in the latest quarter, compared with 35 percent in the prior period. Pre-sales prior to the event were brisk, with 33 brands on Tmall reporting 100 million-yuan worth of pre-orders, the company said.
Still, there's some uncertainty this year, due to a slowing economy, real estate deflation and trade tensions with the USA that could impact on Chinese consumption.
But Singles' Day easily dwarfs worldwide equivalents like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. traditionally the largest online shopping days in the United States, when consumers flock to the internet for deals the day after Thanksgiving. Singles' Day is (also known as "Double 11" because it takes place on November 11, or 11/11 every year) is a Chinese holiday that began in 1993 and celebrates the pride in being alone, or single.
It was Zhang who came up with the idea of turning Singles' Day into a shopfest a decade ago.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.is looking beyond borders to turn its annual Singles' Day shopping celebration into a global phenomenon.
Chinese workers carry goods from Singles' Day online shopping onto a "Fuxing" high-speed bullet train from Beijing to Changsha.
So what exactly is Single's Day?
Alibaba kicks off the annual event with a gala, which this year featured US singer Mariah Carey, a Japanese Beyonce impersonator and a shoe-shopping-themed Cirque du Soleil performance.
In Southeast Asia, Lazada's participation in Singles' Day has made it easier for consumers like Kent Toh to check out what is on offer.
Besides expanding overseas, the e-commerce giant continues to invest in China in what it calls "new retail", which optimizes in-store sales and service using data culled online.
"I felt compelled to buy something as I was afraid of missing out", said Toh, 31, a digital marketing executive in Singapore.
Alibaba's new retail is in the vein of Amazon's ($AMZN) AmazonGo cashier-less markets ー but on steroids.
The slump in China's advertising sector is also hurting Alibaba.