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ALIBABA SET NEW SALES RECORDS…. MAKES 1BILLON DOLLARS IN 85 SECONDS ON SUNDAY FOR ITS BIGGEST SHOPPING DAY.

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E-commerce giant Alibaba hit a record $1bn (£774m; €883m) in sales in 85 seconds, and then just shy of $10bn in the first hour of the 24-hour spree.

In total, customers spent $30.8bn, up 27% on last year, but the lowest annual increase in the history of Singles Day.

Online discounts have been offered on 11 November, Alibaba’s informal holiday for singles, since 2009.

Alibaba Group chief executive Daniel Zhang said the spending bonanza demonstrated “customers’ continued pursuit to upgrade their everyday lifestyles”.

The event was kicked off on Saturday with a gala featuring US singer Mariah Carey, a Japanese Beyoncé impersonator and a shoe-shopping-themed Cirque du Soleil performance.

The November sale event is expected to be founder Jack Ma’s last at the helm of the company. The current chief executive will take over as chairman next year.

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