Singles Day, an online shopping fest in China, recorded more than $9 billion in sales on Nov. 11.

Alibaba, the e-commerce giant that has driven the concept of Singles Day as an online shopping fest in China, recorded more than $9 billion in sales on Nov. 11. Shoppers at sites run by Alibaba spent almost three times as much as American online shoppers spent last year on Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined, The New Yorker reports. This points to the staggering size of e-commerce in China, where Morgan Stanley estimates one in every five renminbi spent will go toward online purchases by 2018.

China e-commerce

China surpassed the U.S. in e-commerce revenue last year. And as this chart from Ozy shows, Morgan Stanley forecasts that by 2018, China’s e-commerce sales will exceed total online sales in the rest of the world. Morgan Stanley expects e-commerce to account for 18 percent of China’s retail sales by 2018 and keep growing over the next decade, thanks in part to rising mobile penetration and improved infrastructure. Meanwhile, Alibaba is expanding to more markets, launching online shopping portal 11 Main in the U.S. in June (a mobile app debuted last week). Given its e-commerce might, watch for China to lead the way in retail innovation, from Alibaba to innovative brick-and-mortar retailers.

Image credit: Ozy