Chinese internet giant Alibaba is fond of crowing about its online shopping records, and that's truer than ever this year. The company's annual Global Shopping Festival, aka Singles Day, broke last year's record by selling $30.8 billion in goods across 230 countries over the space of 24 hours, a hefty 27 percent increase over the $25.3 billion from 2017. However, the initial burst also stood out. It took just 85 seconds for Alibaba to sell its first $1 billion, and an hour to top $10 billion. That's well past US holiday sales -- for context, Black Friday 2017 'only' generated $5 billion in online sales.