By  on November 13, 2012

SHANGHAI — Single’s Day started as a holiday to honor Chinese who are not married or otherwise do not have a partner. However, the holiday, which falls on Nov. 11 annually, is quickly becoming the biggest day for online shopping on the mainland as millions of consumers turn to the Internet to take advantage of deep discounts and other promotions offered by e-commerce players.

Chinese Internet giant Alibaba, which operates and, said sales on its e-commerce platforms on Single’s Day, which fell on Sunday this year, totaled $3.1 billion, more than triple the sales figure from last year. That number well outpaced the $1.25 billion that, according to research company comScore, Americans spent last year on Cyber Monday.

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Sales on, the company’s business-to-consumer platform that is home to a number of Chinese and international brands, totaled 13.2 billion yuan, or $2.1 billion, while the consumer-to-consumer site generated revenues of 5.9 billion yuan, about $947 million. Ten million people logged onto Alibaba’s e-commerce sites within the first minute of the start of the promotions, which began at midnight Sunday, the company said.

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