China's Biggest Shopping Event: What Is Singles Day?

Hit Singles

Chinese company offers single people a lifetime supply of alcohol for £1275

The event, originally a celebration of China's lonely hearts, has become the world's biggest online shopping spree, with takings beat those of its United States equivalents, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, combined.

"The run-up to this year's 11.11 looks solid, with 140,000 brands participating, of which 60,000 are global (there were ~11,000 global brands on Tmall at last year's event)", Youssef Squali, an analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey said in a note to clients.

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That's absolutely massive and puts U.S. shopping holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday to shame. A lifetime supply of alcohol will be going on sale for less than $1,700, as China's e-commerce giant Alibaba begins a bumper annual shopping festival.

The price is a reference to 11.11, the first name given to the day, meant to represent both the date (11 November) and the single people doing the shopping. This year, Amazon recorded a record $1 billion in sales for its made up holiday and it was the largest single day for sales in the company's history.

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Singles' Day is a holiday created to serve as an alternative to Valentines Day in China. Each year Alibaba holds a slickly produced live-streamed and televised countdown gala that has become more and more extravagant. 200 million are expected to watch the gala this year, and tens of millions more will play games, visit stores or try on clothes on their phones. Alibaba's Ma, a tai chi aficionado, is set unveil a short film starring himself performing martial arts alongside Jet Li, "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story"'s Donnie Yen and Thailand's Tony Jaa. It appears they have taken that into account.

The agreement also says that if the company folds anytime within 30 years of the purchase then the lifetime supply will be voided.

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