Nov. 11 (UPI) -- Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce leader, set a sales record on Singles Day, flying past last year's record of nearly $30.5 billion in sales by Monday afternoon across its platforms.
Singles Day, the retail shopping holiday comparable to Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States, falls on Nov. 11 . Sales started at midnight in Hong Kong and Singapore with Alibaba offering discounts on its popular sites like Tmall.
Alibaba capitalized on live streaming to help sell products. The sales records happened despite a slowing economy in China because of its ongoing trade war with the United States.
"We continue to feel very confident about the growth potential of the economy," Alibaba chief marketing officer Chris Tung told CNN. "We are pushing deeper towards the less developed areas of China, to reach more new online shoppers, so there's a huge untapped opportunity there."
Cash from sales came in fast. Alibaba made $16.3 billion over the first 90 minutes of Singles Day and $23 billion over the first nine hours. It took the e-commerce giant less than 17 hours to break its old record.
More than 200,000 global brands participated in Singles Day. Huawei's 5G Mate 39 Pro smartphone and the Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max appeared to be big movers among shopping items.
"Singles Day is being held up as a bellwether of Chinese consumers' willingness to spend in the face of a domestic slowdown" Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst for Asia Pacific at Oanda, said Monday in a note. "Deeply discounting prices always bring consumers out to play, no matter how bad the economy might be."