By Webteam - 11th November 2019 6:01am
Singles Day means shopping
Singles day or Guanggun Jie (literally: 'Single Sticks' Holiday') is a shopping holiday popular among young Chinese people that celebrate their pride in being single. The date, November 11th (11/11), was chosen because the number "1" resembles an individual who is alone. The holiday has also become a popular date to celebrate relationships, with over 4,000 couples being married in Beijing on this date in 2011, compared to an average of 700 a day.
The event is not an officially recognized public holiday in China, although it has become the largest offline and online shopping day in the world. Sales in Alibaba's sites, Tmall and Taobao, have reached US$5.8 billion in 2013, US$9.3 billion in 2014, US$14.3 billion in 2015, US$17.8 billion in 2016, and over US$25.4 billion in 2017. JD.com also achieved a sales record of US$19.1 billion in 2017, while Lazada drums up US$123 million.
As more people join in the celebration of this holiday many companies have taken the opportunity to target younger consumers; including businesses such as restaurants, karaoke parlors, and online shopping malls. For example, the Chinese online shopping mall Taobao sold goods worth 19 billion CNY (about US$3 billion) on November 11, 2012.
On Singles' Day 2017, Alibaba set a world record for most payment transactions during the festival. Its mobile wallet app Alipay processed 256,000 payment transactions per second. A total of 1.48 billion transactions were processed by Alipay in the entire 24 hours, with delivery orders through Cainiao (Alibaba's logistics affiliate) reaching close to 700 million, breaking the previous record set in 2016. The event is now nearly four times the size of America's biggest shopping days, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
2011 marked the "Singles Day of the Century" (Shiji Guanggun Jie) as this date had six "ones" rather than four, increasing the significance of the occasion.
Note that Audlem's version of the Singles Day Shopping Bonanza, the Big Switch On, will be on Friday November 29th.
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