alibaba jack ma singles day china

Alibaba chairman Jack Ma speaks on the “Singles’ Day” global online shopping festival in Shenzhen. Pic: AP

China’s ‘Singles Day’ holiday sets record $9.3bn in online sales

Pic: AP.

Pic: AP.

BEIJING (AP) — China’s largest Internet retailer says it rang up more than $9 billion during the country’s biggest online shopping holiday, setting a record for a single day of sales.

The Singles Day holiday was invented by Chinese college students in the 1990s but has become a day of online shopping for all. Two years ago it surpassed Cyber Monday in the U.S. in value of sales.

It was held on Nov. 11 because of the date’s four 1s.

Hangzhou-based e-commerce giant Alibaba Group announced the record sales of 57.1 billion yuan ($9.32 billion) for Tuesday shortly after midnight.

The holiday started as an anti-Valentine Day when single people could buy something for themselves online.