Update at 11:20 a.m. ET: Alibaba Singles Day sales in total reached $14.3 billion in GMV, a 53.7% jump from （jump表增长生动）last year’s event, beating analysts’ expectation of 40% growth rate. But its stock is down 2.8% on Wednesday morning trading in New York.
Update at 10 a.m. ET: Two hours before the ending of Singles Day, total GMV on Alibaba’s platforms is edging towards （靠近，高分搭配）a new high of $13 billion, representing 40% growth from last year that is in line with （与…一致）analysts’ expectation.
Last year China’s Singles Day surpassed （超越）Black Friday to become the world’s largest shopping day. The 24-hour shopping bonanza （好事，美国俚语）, which was started by Alibaba’s TMall platform in 2009 and became popular among youngsters in China, has grown into the biggest annual battle for e-commerce （电商）companies in China.
In its latest effort to step up against rival JD.com （京东躺枪）, this year Alibaba Group moved its count-down program （倒计时项目）from its headquarters Hangzhou to the country’s capital Beijing. The e-commerce giant hosted a four-hour TV show on Singles Day’s Eve featuring not just top Chinese pop singers and movie stars, but also James Bond’s Daniel Craig and a cameo from Kevin Spacey, who greeted Chinese consumers as “President Underwood” from the blockbuster TV series House of Cards.
Those efforts appear to have paid off （颇有成效）. In the first hour and a half, Alibaba’s total gross merchandise volume (GMV) exceeded $5 billion, while last year it took the company about 13 hours to achieve such volume. Deutsche Bank analyst Alan Hellawell III expects Alibaba’s GMV for the day could hit （达到，生动）$13 billion, or 40% growth from last year on November 11, largely thanks to （无痕迹连接主要原因）heavier emphasis on cross-border commerce and the increasing amount of big ticket items （高价商品，习语搭配）.