Only in American retailers’ wildest dreams could they sell more than $1 billion of merchandise an hour, yet that’s exactly what happened in China on Singles Day last year. China, which has long been the world’s most populous nation, surpassed the U.S. as the world’s biggest retail market in 2016. And that’s why even on Amazon’s best day—which to date is Prime Day 2018, when it reportedly needed 12 extra hours to sell a measly $100 million per hour—it doesn’t come close to ecommerce platform Alibaba and Singles Day.

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