Did You Know
Did You Know
China's Alibaba has made more than $3.9bn (£2.bn) in sales in the first hour of Singles' Day in China, the world's biggest online shopping event.
The figure is almost double the $2bn spent in the same time period of the retail giant's sales event last year.
Singles' Day, also known as "Double Eleven" because its held on 11 November, has become a major annual event for Chinese retailers.
Alibaba said more than $1bn was spent within the first eight minutes.
In the latest update on its news website Alizila, the company said that its gross merchandise volume (GMV) had hit $6.5bn.
That is already more than half the record amount of $9.3bn in sales it made last year, putting it on track to create new record.
In comparison, sales on Cyber Monday, which is the biggest online shopping day in the US, hit $1.35bn, according to ComScore.
'Power of Chinese consumption'Singles Day has grown tremendously since it was started by Alibaba in 2009, and now includes many retailers such as rivals JD.com that stage sales promotions.
This year the tech giant said there will be over 40,000 merchants and 30,000 brands from 25 countries selling goods on its platforms.
About 130 million users have already visited its marketplace app Taobao, which exceeds the peak from last year.
Alibaba chief executive Daniel Zhang said over the course of the 24-hour shopping marathon, consumers would have "a new surprise every hour", especially targeting mobile users.
The site said more than 27 million purchases came via mobile phone in the first hour.
"The whole world will witness the power of Chinese consumption this November 11," Mr Zhang said in a statement.
In the lead up to the event, the firm hosted a four-hour TV variety show featuring Chinese celebrities and Western entertainers such as British actor Daniel Craig of James Bond fame.
It also included an appearance by American actor Kevin Spacey, appearing as his character President Frank Underwood from the Netflix series House of Cards.
He wished Chinese shoppers a "happy Singles day" in a two minute video.
Massive scaleAlibaba accounts for more than 80% of China's internet sales market.
It predicts that 1.7 million couriers, 400,000 vehicles and 200 planes will be making deliveries of products that range from electronics goods to cosmetics despites lowing growth in China.
Economists will be looking for clues about domestic consumption in Wednesday's sales as the world's second-biggest economy heads for its slowest growth in nearly a quarter of a century.