Singles Day: Alibaba Buyers Ready to Mingle with ‘Double Eleven’ | China News


Singles Day kicked off in Asia on Wednesday and is expected to generate significant profits for online retailer Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.This is good news for the e-commerce giant, which lost $ 76 billion in market value last week after the Chinese government suspended the long-awaited IPO of Alibaba’s financial arm, Ant Group.

But what is the backstory of the festival known as ‘Double Eleven’, and why do people celebrate it by buying tons of stuff? Here’s what you need to know.

First off, what does “Double Eleven” have to do with singles?

The name of the festival is tied to the date – November 11 – but 11/11 also looks like four single people lining up. And the pronunciation of all these elevens in Mandarin sounds like an idiom meaning “my whole life” or “my whole life”. Listen to stern music.

It’s a little sweeter than the alternative name of the day, “Guang Gun Jie” (“Bare Sticks Day”) which is a game about the numbers themselves and the idea that singles are lonely sticks that add nothing to the family tree. Ouch.

Yikes. So why do singles have their own day?

Come on, they’ve bought enough wedding gifts for their married friends over the years, so why not ?! But seriously, the story goes that Singles Day was started by four singles from Nanjing University in 1993 as a sort of protest against Valentine’s Day in China’s traditionally marriage-obsessed culture.

Is this also for all single women?

Feminists have criticized the way mainstream Chinese society views single women. “The Chinese girl was brought up, then as now, with marriage as a goal,” Confucius wrote, and singles are sometimes referred to as “sheng nu” (“remaining women”) and looked down upon if they were not. wives. and mothers. Because of this, some view Singles Day as deeply sexist – even though it has turned into an online shopping blitz, Racked reported.

Complicated. So how is Singles Day celebrated?

Lots of ways. Sometimes that’s an excuse for single friends to get together and party – or to try pairing and set dates.

It’s also a good day to do something decidedly anti-celibate, like a wedding. In fact, 4,000 couples applied to be married in Beijing on the Final Singles Day of Nov. 11, 2011 – five times the city’s average daily marriages, reported The Wall Street Journal.

Cool. My wedding invitation must have gotten lost in the mail. Bring shopping!

Since Alibaba took advantage of the trend in 2009, Singles Day has also been devoted to shopping till the drop.

Last year, the company reached $ 38.3 billion in gross merchandise volume, shattering its previous sales records for Singles Day. In fact, singles’ day sales reached 84 billion yuan ($ 12 billion) in the first hour of 2019. All of these singles were definitely stocking up – and many of their married friends there. ‘were also.

What about this year?

Alibaba is hoping wealthy Chinese consumers will be eager to spend despite the pandemic, looking for luxury goods online they could have purchased while traveling overseas before COVID-19 travel restrictions hit.

Alibaba is also launching two million new products – double the amount last year – reported Reuters.

So, will the pandemic boost or hurt sales?

Online retailers have generally fared well as shoppers have been stuck in their homes clicking on their way to some semblance of normalcy, despite COVID-19 causing widespread unemployment around the world, which is definitely slowing down shopping. .

But like Amazon, which moved its Prime Days to October and got a Christmas leap in holiday shoppers, Alibaba also ran early discount days from November 1 to November 3 and sales from 11 November. days will be taken into account in its gross volume of goods. He bet those 11 days will blend together for a profitable Singles Day.


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