Beyond the bargains, Singles' Day holds another significance for Alibaba, which uses the event as a test bed for new technologies that it has been exploring, such as New Retail - the integration of online and offline commerce - as well as artificial intelligence and augmented reality. The Jack Ma-led e-tailer registered sales worth 69 billion yuan, or $9.92 billion, within one hour of the November sale event.
"There are a lot of bearish voices, which led people to tighten their belts and give up buying during the double 11".
China's e-commerce giant Alibaba broke last year's ' Singles' Day' record by logging $24.3 billion in sales by midday during the annual online shopping fiesta on Sunday.
Alibaba founder Jack Ma, who will step down as chairman in less than a year, attended the start of the gala in Shanghai and appeared in a video message in which he wrapped up live hair crabs, a popular online purchase.
Chinese workers carry goods from Singles' Day online shopping onto a "Fuxing" high-speed bullet train from Beijing to Changsha.
"Singles' Day has now become a stage for Alibaba to showcase its capabilities across all its platforms", Daniel Zhang, chief executive officer, said at an October news conference in Beijing.
It comes as the company is grappling with a slimmer sales outlook amid rising trade tensions the U.S. that have taken a bite out of China's economy.
In contrast, U.S. retailers together clocked Black Friday sales of $7.9 billion on November 24, 2017.
But surely Singles' Day can't be bigger than Black Friday, right?
Still, there was some uncertainty this year, as the trade war and deflating asset values threaten to disrupt economic growth. Global expansion will be a key plank of Mr Zhang's effort to keep breaking records. Last year, the top three non-Chinese Singles' Day markets were Russian Federation, tiny Hong Kong and the US - in that order. Popular items purchased overseas included mobile phones, wool coats and knitted sweaters, according to the company. It discarded a pledge to create a million jobs in the country, lost its top US dealmaker and jettisoned plans for affiliate Alipay to acquire MoneyGram. But in its relentless ambition, Alibaba may be Amazon's only global equal. With Singapore-based Lazada now fully under its wing, the region remains one of the company's relative bright spots.
Alibaba is the owner of the South China Morning Post. A significant chunk of revenue comes from merchants spending money across the e-commerce giant's platforms to lure customers.
Sales rose 27 percent, compared with 39 percent past year.