The so-called Singles’ Day in China has become a good barometer for the country’s economy and the level of life during the recent years. And if we look at the data records from this year’s edition of the event, Beijing has nothing to worry about.

For two minutes and five seconds after midnight on Sunday, Singles’ Day sales reached 10 billion RMB or 1.44 billion US dollars. These are only transaction data through the TMall platform owned by the Chinese Internet giant Alibaba. The grand sale involved over 19,000 companies from 75 countries with their products.

It was Alibaba who developed the idea to promote the celebration of Singles’ Day in November 2009 as a special event for many young people. The date 11 November was selected because the four numbers resemble the four “golden sticks”, a Chinese term for “male single”.

The beginning was modest and the first sale through TMall generated about 52 million yuan. Last year, this amount reached 168.2 billion yuan and the statistics of this November predict a new record.

But the event is not just an attractive sale; just like the Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States, the Chinese Singles’ Day is a test of the power of Chinese consumers and the purchasing capability of the world’s largest population.

This year, it is particularly important against the background of the deteriorated trade relations with Washington. Alibaba even lowered its sales forecasts earlier this month, worried by disagreements between the two countries. However, it appears, that the pessimism has not been justified and consumers have been fully confident, devoting to their digital portfolios. Experts say that the huge growth is due to competition between sellers for winning a bigger part in consumer spending in the growing economy of China.

In 2017 90 percent of sales were made online, a fact that shows the scale of Internet commerce in China. This year the percentage is expected to be even higher. Revenues coming from the virtual shopping space are particularly important for the flexibility of the economy. Customers can expand the capacity of their shopping cart against additional payment, exceeding the traditional restrictions imposed by traders, which in turn stimulates them to shop more with one order.

Singles’ Day is thus endorsed as the biggest commercial event in the world, larger than the US “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” taken together.