China to celebrate Singles’ Day with whopping shopping spree

China to celebrate Singles’ Day with whopping shopping spree

Today, Chinese singles celebrate their pride in lacking romantic attachment. They will do so by participating in the world’s biggest

China Singles day shopping

Photo: Xinhua

Today, Chinese singles celebrate their pride in lacking romantic attachment. They will do so by participating in the world’s biggest shopping day, with last year’s sales totalling $18.2 billion.

The tradition of honouring singles on November 11 started on college campuses in the 1990’s. But, it was transformed into a shopping event akin to America’s Black Friday by e-commerce giant Alibaba in 2011. This year’s sales are expected to set a new record, with over 60,000 brands selling their wares through Alibaba’s online platforms.

This year, the company will spread its sales to physical buildings, with 10% of China’s convenience stores participating. Combined with plans to open a mall come April, these actions clearly indicate Alibaba is making an aggressive expansion from cyberspace to the physical world.

Combined with Amazon’s acquisition of grocery chain Whole Foods, Alibaba’s plans mark a broader trend of the e-commerce giants moving into brick-and-mortar retail. These moves could greatly expand the power of these two already mighty firms. Singles’ Day, then, appears to be celebrating a marriage after all—one of cyberspace and reality.

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