ICYMI, Alibaba generated a staggering US$38.4 billion in online gross merchandise value (GMV) on this year’s 11.11, up 26% year-on-year, partly fueled by the countdown gala hosted by Alibaba’s video arm Youku featuring performances from Taylor Swift (pictured below), Kana Hanazawa, and Aida Garifullina.


The calculation of GMV is hazy as it includes shipping charges paid by buyers to sellers, and doubts abound about the actual total after factoring in returns or cancellations. This is Alibaba’s explanation, extracted from its last annual report: “As a prudential matter aimed at eliminating any influence on our GMV of potentially fraudulent transactions, we exclude from our calculation of GMV transactions in certain product categories over certain amounts and transactions by buyers in certain product categories over a certain amount per day”.