China's biggest e-commerce company claims more than USD1 billion worth of goods were sold over its sites within the first 20 minutes of this year's 11.11 Shopping Festival.

Alibaba says it hit USD1 billion in gross merchandise volume at 12:17 A.M. this morning. As impressive was news that nearly half of all transactions took place via smartphones and other mobile devices.

Alibaba Group is rolling out the sale worldwide this year. Globally, the company says the strongest overseas traffic was coming from Hong Kong, the U.S. and Taiwan.

Last year's 24-hour sale saw USD5.8 billion worth of goods transacted over Alibaba Group's and Taobao Marketplace platforms, making it the biggest shopping day in the world, topping the sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

Previous 11.11 Shopping Festivals have been limited mostly to the mainland. But for the first time this year, AliExpress, Alibaba Group's English-language consumer shopping platform will be participating, offering 50% off on one million products to customers overseas.


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