Shoppers across China have splurged a whopping US$1 billion in the first 68 seconds of Alibaba’s annual global sale.

Known as Singles Day, or Double Eleven – because the date 11/11 looks like four ‘singles’ – the event has now grown to become the largest shopping event globally. This is the 14th Singles Day shopping event.

US singer Taylor Swift was brought in to hype the event.

In all, $US38.4 billion ($56 billion) was spent on the first day of the week-long 'Global Shopping Festival'.

Australian sellers featured prominently with Bubs Australia and Blackmores amongst those cashing in on Chinese buyers’ love for wholesome baby goods and nutritional supplements.

“Australia is seen as clean, green, and natural,” said Alibaba Australia and New Zealand managing director Maggie Zhou.

At its peak, Alibaba was processing 544,000 orders per second as more than 200,000 sellers flogged their wares.

Blackmores CEO Alastair Symington said the Alibaba ecosystem gave the vitamins company a unique entry point into a large market.

“China is our most important market going forward,” he said.

The top 10 Australian brands on Alibaba are Swisse, Devondale, Bio Island, Blackmores, Healthy Care, Thursday Plantation, G&M, Arnold’s farm, Bellamy’s and Nu-Lax.

The most popular categories include health supplements, adult milk powder, infant and toddler nutrition, powdered drink mixes, dairy products, facial masks, and baby toiletries.