Alipay on Track for $16 Billion+ in Transactions on #SinglesDay

During the first two hours of the annual 11/11 Global Shopping Festival, or Single’s Day as it is more commonly known, the Alibaba Group generated just about $7 billion USD of GMV within the first two hours of the holiday.

Alipay transactions accounted for 84% of that total amount.

Alipay is a payment platform provided by Ant Financial, a spinoff from Alibaba that is expected to soon launch as a publicly traded company.

Now, more than halfway into the event, sales have already surpassed the record $14.3 billion USD recorded last year.

For those who might be unfamiliar with the holiday, Single’s Day is a festival that has become widespread in China, particularly among the younger generation, to celebrate singleness—it occurs every year on November 11th because the number “one” resembles an individual on his or her own.  Its sales numbers dwarf both Black Friday and Cyber Monday here in the U.S.

Since its inception in 2009 — it was created by Alibaba — the festival has become one of the biggest online shopping events in the world. Its effect on e-commerce might be shifting to mobile, if one looks at the Alipay numbers—it’s no secret to those familiar with the payment platform that China really, really loves Alipay.

The mobile payment method is actually so popular that within the first five minutes of Single’s Day, the total amount settled through Alipay exceeded $1 billion U.S. PayPal processed $282 billion in all of 2015, and only a small portion of that was on mobile.

Just imagine seeing a similar figure (relative to the sale amounts, of course) on Black Friday. No mobile payment solution offered in the U.S. has reached the popularity of Alipay in China—including Alipay in the U.S., which made its first major play in the U.S. market this year by partnering with First Data and Verifone, and has so far seen limited penetration.

Of course, Alibaba actually invented the festival, so that probably has a little to do with the annual record sale numbers it records as well as the struggles of companies like Amazon to grab a piece of the action.

Even though the Chinese economy has apparently slowed, Alibaba expects consumers to spend around $20 billion US in sales by the day’s close. This means Alipay can expect to transact north of $16 billion in a single day.

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