Source: Alibaba official Twitter handle

Setting yet another Singles’ Day record, Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba has announced some staggering numbers for its Singles’ Day sales. According to the company, it has grossed over $23Bn in the first nine hours of the mega online shopping carnival. This figure is 25% more than the 126.72 billion yuan it had achieved at the same point last year.

This year’s sales have surpassed last year’s recorded numbers already. Like last year, Alibaba has run a live counter and entertainment section, which continues to display the revenue from this particular event. In fact, it also has Taylor Swift this time, to further pep up sales. The first ninety minutes of the sale saw over $16.3Bn in revenues, which is more than half of what the company achieved in totality last year.

Last year, sales at Alibaba climbed 27% to 213.5 billion yuan, or the equivalent to $30.7 billion at the time. More merchandise is sold online over the 24-hour period than during the five-day U.S. holiday buying spree that begins on Thanksgiving and ends on Cyber Monday.

An estimated half-billion shoppers from China to Russia and Argentina are expected to swarm Alibaba’s sites this time, to gulp in everything from iPhones and refrigerators to cashew nuts.

Keeping numbers aside though, experts have always doubted the impact this mega sales event has on Alibaba’s bottom line. The event involves heavy discounting, most of which is being drained of from the company’s own cash pile. Many have suggested, that the event is more of a display of Alibaba’s size and magnitude than resulting in some real profits for the company.

The Singles’ Day derives its names from the date on which it is held. Arguably the world’s largest online shopping carnival, it takes places on 11/11 every year, with the 1s in the date representing Singles. It is also referred to as ‘Double Eleven’ in China.