Alibaba’s Singles’ Day promotional extravaganza generated sales of $30.8bn, 27% ahead of last year’s total.

Shoppers spent $1bn in sales in just 85 seconds and almost $10bn in the first hour.

The rise in sales was actually the lowest annual increase in the event’s 10-year history, but Alibaba chiefs said they were pleased with the performance.

More than 180,000 brands took part in the promotion and more than a billion orders were processed.

About 40% of shoppers bought from international brands and the top five countries that sold into China for the event were Japan, the US, South Korea, Australia and Germany.

Alibaba reported that 237 brands topped RMB100 million in gross merchandise value, including Apple, Dyson, Kindle, Estée Lauder, L’Oréal, Nestlé, Gap, Nike and Adidas.

The etail powerhouse said Singles’ Day’s success showed that the rise of China’s middle class was unstoppable and would not be derailed by an economic confrontation with the US.

Alibaba executive vice-chairman Joe Tsai said: “I think you have to understand Alibaba and what Alibaba is doing in the context of the long-term secular trend that’s developing in China, which is the rise of the Chinese middle class. That trend is not going to stop, trade war or no trade war.”

Alibaba’s Singles’ Day sales top $30bn in record performance