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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