Business Insider Edition

Chaotic photos show what it looks like when Alibaba sells R570 billion worth of merchandise on China’s biggest shopping holiday and breaks records

Erin McDowell , Business Insider US
 Nov 17, 2019, 03:32 PM
Chinese retailer Alibaba says it made more than $38.3 billion in sales this Singles Day.
NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images
  • Alibaba says it has raked in more than $38 billion (R569 billion) in Singles Day sales, making it the biggest shopping holiday in China.
  • The retailer smashed Amazon Prime Day records, which brought in $5.8 billion (R86 billion) in sales this year according to estimates.
  • As the record-breaking shopping extravaganza winds to a close, photos are emerging that show the aftermath of intense shipping demands.
  • E-commerce companies reportedly pulled all-nighters to keep up with orders placed on November 11, and high-speed trains are being used to deliver packages.
  • Photos show crowded logistics bases overflowing with packages as workers begin to send out packages.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Alibaba has reportedly surpassed more than $38 billion (R569 billion) in sales as of Monday evening, and photos are beginning to emerge that show the intense aftermath of the world's largest 24-hour shopping event.

In the first hour alone, the retailer brought in an estimated $13 billion (R194 billion) in sales.

The Chinese online retailer has already surpassed Amazon Prime Day's record and then some.

Though Amazon has not released official sales numbers, the retailer took in an estimated $5.8 billion (R86 billion) during Amazon Prime Day 2019 according to analysts.

While Alibaba's annual online shopping event is comparable to Black Friday or Cyber Monday in the US, the retailer consistently brings in more money than other worldwide retail competitors.

As Alibaba's record-breaking shopping day winds to a close, workers have reportedly been working around the clock to keep up with intense e-commerce and shipping demands. The retailer is reportedly using high-speed trains to keep up with deliveries, and workers in e-commerce facilities worked overnight to keep up with demand.


As Singles' Day came to an end, the growth of the shopping holiday was immediately apparent.

NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images

Last year, Alibaba took in an estimated $30.8 billion (R461 billion) in sales.

NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images

This year, the retailer topped that amount by 26%, earning a whopping $38 billion (R569 billion) — even in the midst of worries over a trade war with the US.

NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images

An estimated 200,000 brands participated in Alibaba's Singles' Day sales, according to the company.

Source: Alibaba


Billions of dollars in sales may create a logistics situation for shipping companies throughout China as workers struggle to keep up with the influx of packages.

STR/AFP/Getty Images

A large number of packages are already being sorted following the world's biggest 24-hour shopping day.


Employees have already been pictured sorting packages in Chinese warehouses in Beijing to get them on the way to customers.

NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images

This Yangzhou delivery company appears to be overflowing with packages bought during the holiday buying spree.

STR/AFP/Getty Images

Workers in chaotic-looking warehouses appear to be struggling to keep up with the large number of Singles' Day orders.

NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images

Photos show Singles Day packages piling up in warehouses in Beijing, China, and some warehouses look more crowded than others.

NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images

Reports have suggested that the Chinese economy is slowing — perhaps incentivising shoppers to take advantage of the day of deals.

VCG/Getty Images

Source: Washington Post


“Our goal is to stimulate [consumer] demand and support lifestyle upgrades in China through new brands and products,” Fan Jiang, president of Taobao and Tmall, said in a press statement.

VCG/Getty Images

As packages of newly-bought goods begin shipping out, it's fascinating to see the lengths that shipping companies are going to in order to send out packages in the shortest time possible.

VCG/Getty Images

Planes and even passenger trains are being used to transport goods all over the country and abroad.

Xu Congjun/VCG/Getty Images

Large amounts of cargo can be seen being loaded into airplanes, like this SF Airlines Boeing 757 aircraft at Nantong Xingdong International Airport.

Xu Congjun/VCG/Getty Images

The aircraft is packed tightly with packages bought during the chaotic 24-hour shopping marathon.

Xu Congjun/VCG/Getty Images

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