Chinese singles don’t lament their lack of a significant other by drowning their sorrows at a local bar – no, they celebrate their unattached status with the one thing they do really, really well: shopping.
Single’s Day, or 光棍节 Guānggùn Jié, is coming up on November 11th (that’s the Tuesday after next), so be prepared to take part in China’s online shopping holiday that literally broke all records last year. Alibaba alone made 2.5 times the amount of money than the United States’s Cyber Monday. Total sales last year were nearly $8 billion USD.
Single’s Day began in universities in Nanjing in the 1990s as a simple demonstration of independence through a single’s dinner. In 2009, however, Alibaba created into the world’s largest shopping holiday by advertising that single men could buy tech gear on their website to escape the inevitable loneliness. The discounts they offered were enough to entice the Chinese bargain shoppers into a frenzy. Now, even couples save up their money to get the most bang from their buck. Tmall’s “Double 11” deals are some of the most popular and most lucrative in the world.
“The discounts are so huge it was definitely worth the wait,” said 34-year-old Internet executive Cindy Wang, who last year held back on buying 3,000 yuan of clothing and bedding until Nov. 11 in an interview with Bloomburg.“I can’t remember the last time I bought a big item in a departmental store.”
Based off of the four lonely sticks in 11/11, the “Double 11” is actually causing controversy in the pre-Single’s day preparations. Alibaba’s Tmall registered several trademarks associated with the Double 11, and is currently squaring off against other e-commerce giants like JD.com over advertisement rights. This just goes to show the importance of the profit made during this holiday, which even Amazon is getting in on the party.
So if you want to take advantage of the upcoming savings, start with checking out Tmall.com, and then head over to Amazon who announced it will launch global shipping to China specifically for international brands on Single’s day. But don’t forget the real point of the holiday- raise a toast to your single friends, assert your independence by going Dutch, and celebrate your place among the millions of single Chinese people.
Photo Courtesy of Flickr