SHANGHAI, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) -- At just three minutes past midnight on Saturday, China's Singles' Day, sales on TMall hit 10 billion yuan (about 1.5 billion U.S. dollars).
In 2016, the volume was achieved in six minutes and 58 seconds, according to Alibaba, owner of TMall.
Known as China's Single's Day, November 11 has become an online shopping spree since 2009 when Alibaba's Tmall made its first online sales promotion. And now it is on par with "Black Friday," when most U.S. retailers online or offline offer promotions.
Kevin Shepard from the United States was not a fan of online shopping until he came to China.
"It' s not only cheaper here, but the convenience and quick shipping are hard to beat," he said.
Tom Moody from the United Kingdom planned to buy a home audio system. He uses TMall and JD.com apps.
"Sales in the West can sometimes be a by-word for buying the items that were left in stock and nobody else wanted, but China's 'double 11' is increasingly breaking that mold," he said.
"It might be better described as a shopping festival where people plan for a 'lifestyle upgrade'," according to Moody.
The company where Tom works, Dyson China, also participated in the event. Several popular Dyson products were offered attractive discounts on Tmall.
"Double 11" is not only online in China, but is now cross-border and in brick-and-mortar stores. Department stores at Xujiahui in Shanghai also offered "double 11" deals on Saturday. Companies such as Amazon and Carrefour offered discounts and services on the day.
While Amazon upgraded its delivery service, Carrefour China extended its business hours allowing customers to shop with the same discounts as on Carrefour's mobile app.
According to Alibaba, as of 1 a.m. Saturday, transactions had been made in 201 countries and regions, including Japan, the United States, Australia, Germany and the Republic of Korea.
"This year, we have over one million retailers worldwide who registered both online and offline stores; we have targeted 52 core commercial areas globally and we ran 30,000 service centers in rural areas of China to provide quality products to consumers there," said Zhang Yong, CEO of Alibaba.
The industry expansion involves not only retailers, consumers and logistics but also industrial engineers, designers, farmers and production managers, he said.
The new consumption trend and technological revolution are changing the lives of every one on the globe, he added.