Chinese  shoppers snapped up food supplements, facial masks and baby milk powder at the world's largest shopping festival, with brands such as L'Oreal and Nestle among the biggest winners, Alibaba data showed.

The Chinese e-commerce giant's annual Singles' Day shopping blitz yesterday brought in a record 268.4 billion yuan ($38.38 billion) in sales.

This is more than six times the amount of online sales made in the US on Black Friday last year.

It kicked off this year's 24-hour shopping bonanza with a live performance by US pop star Taylor Swift followed by the live-streamed marketing of over 1,000 brands. 

Alibaba said that 299 brands surpassed 100 million yuan in gross merchandise value, among them smartphone makers Huawei Technologies and Apple, LVMH's Givenchy, home appliance makers Dyson and Philips and sportswear makers Nike and Under Armour.

Food supplements were the most popular import product, while sales of makeup, nappies and face wash were also strong. 

Sales growth for the annual shopping festival this year eased to 26%, the weakest since the event started in 2009, in a reflection of how e-commerce sales in China have been slowing.

Analysts, however, said the growth rate had slightly beaten their expectations.

They said that more aggressive promotions, a focus on attracting more customers from rural cities, and even the overall slowing economy might have helped as people sought to buy goods at discounted prices.

Citic Securities had predicted a 20-25% expansion, while Daiwa Capital Markets had an estimate of 23%.