E-commerce giant Alibaba has cashed a record 213.5 billion yuan or $30.7 billion in sales on Sunday during its 24-hour online retail frenzy Singles’ Day.
The China technology company’s annual growth of Singles’ Day dropped to its slowest rate despite shoppers in China and across the world purchased items including iPhones, furniture and milk powder starting pre-dawn.
Alibaba recorded roughly $10 billion in sales in the first hour after midnight.
JD.com, which also does a longer Singles’ Day sales event culminating on Nov. 11, said sales in the period had hit 159.8 billion yuan or $23 billion this year, up about 26 percent from last year.
Singles’ Day, also called “Double 11”, is the world’s biggest online sales event, outstripping the sales of U.S. shopping holidays Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.
This year, the company surpassed last year’s full-day sales record of 168 billion yuan in just under sixteen hours.
Despite the record haul, the annual sales growth rate fell from 39 percent to 27 percent, at the low end of analyst estimates, and the slowest rate in the event’s 10-year history.
It comes as the company is grappling with a weaker sales outlook amid rising trade tensions between China and the United States that have taken a bite out of China’s economy.
Earlier this month it revised down its full-year sales outlook by 4-6 percent, sending chills through the company’s stock price, which has dropped roughly 16 percent this year after almost doubling in 2017.
To compensate, the company will take in less commission from its platforms in the near term to retain brands and attract new buyers, it said.
Online sales growth is also slowing across the board in the country’s eastern mega-cities, including Shanghai and Beijing, and Alibaba said roughly 75 percent of new users last quarter were in “less developed” areas.