In China, Shopping on ‘Singles’ Day’

Today, Americans are commemorating Veterans Day, but in China, today is an unofficial holiday called “Singles’ Day.” The date 11/11—the date with the most 1’s in it—has single people either lamenting or celebrating their single status, and Alibaba, the largest online retailer in China, has latched onto the day as a huge shopping occasion:

The one-day shopping craze, for which Chinese consumers were preparing well in advance of the midnight start, highlights the frenetic growth of e-commerce in China. The country is set to overtake the United States this year as the largest e-commerce market in the world, according to Forrester Research. Chinese consumers are predicted to spend $290 billion at online retail sites, compared with $260 billion for their United States counterparts.

Alibaba engineered this one-day shopping craze back in 2009, perhaps by looking at how popular having a huge online promotion day (i.e. Cyber Monday) one month before the December gift-giving holidays is among shoppers. I’ve typically avoided both Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but here’s to all the single people out there today—may you find yourself a deal, or be content with what you already have.

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