Alibaba likes to record stars like Taylor Swift at 11.11 Countdown Gala events. (Delivered: Alibaba)
Chinese e-commerce giants Alibaba and JD.com reported a total of more than $ 55 billion ($ 80 billion) in sales Monday mid-Singles Day, an annual marketing event that is the world's busiest online shopping day .
- Taylor Swift kicked off sales extravaganza on Monday
- Sales give Chinese economy a boost in US-China trade war
- Alibaba reported sales of $ 1 billion in just over a minute  Today's sale – whose scale appears to set another record in its 11th year – was temporary relief for retailers falling in demand as Chinese consumers worried about slowing economic growth and tariff wars with Washington tightening their belts.
Annually on November 11, China's so-called 11.11 Global Shopping Festival is now larger than US equivalents Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.
It was originally known as Singles Day becaus e 11.11 is similar to four "single sticks" – a Chinese term used to refer to bachelors.
Alibaba reported that sales hit $ 1 billion ($ 1.5 billion) after just 68 seconds and crossed the $ 30 billion mark at 6 p.m. 16:00 (local time)
This figure represents more than 80 percent of US rival Amazon's online sales throughout the last quarter.
Chinese state-run tabloid Global Times tweeted that sales figures showed "the Chinese's stronger spending power to back up the economy, despite the 17-month trade war and turmoil [Hong Kong]."
Competitors including JD.com, China's largest online retailer, and electronics salesman Suning joined. The tactics have also caught on in other Asian countries.
Dealers offered discounts on items from smartphones, to make beers, to healthcare.
Festival merchants typically stack their shopping baskets on the evening of November 10 and start checking out when the clock strikes midnight.
"Yesterday night I was searching at 11pm. Many of my friends around me were staying until 2am to buy things," said Zhu Yirun, a doctoral student in Beijing.
Dangdang, an online bookstore, said it sold 6.8 million copies in the first hour.
This is the first time Alibaba's Singles Day is being held since flamboyant co-founder Jack Ma resigned as chairman in September to "start a new life."
The Chinese retailer, with a market value of $ 486 billion, kicked off this year's 24-hour shopping bonanza with a live performance by American pop star Taylor Swift, followed by live-stream marketing of over 1,000 brands.
With hundreds of millions of orders, Singles Day is a massive logistics exercise. (AP: Ng Han Guan)
Mr Ma, 55, is China's richest entrepreneur with a net worth of $ 39 billion, according to the Hurun report, which tracks the country's prosperity.
Alibaba said it expected more than 500 million users to make purchases this year, about 100 million more than last year.
Lack of traditional retail networks and government efforts to promote internet use has helped e-commerce expand rapidly in China.
E-commerce accounted for 19.5 percent of Chinese consumer spending in the first nine months of 2019, compared to roughly 11 percent of US consumer spending.
"China is bringing these technologies to scale that we see nowhere else," said Hans Hendrischke, professor of Chinese business at the University of Sydney, referring to the use of big data to ensure that demand can be met and that the products will be delivered quickly.
"When we see that these technologies are perfected, they will be transferable to other markets," he added.
ABC / wiring  Topics:
The argument seems to increase, both locally and internationally, that VC-backed, privately owned technology companies ...