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Everything You Need To Know About China's Singles' Day
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Everything You Need To Know About China's Singles' Day

Picture of India Doyle
Updated: 11 November 2016
Everyone knows Black Friday — a sales day in the US and UK which marks the beginning of the festive period. But surpassing this transatlantic bonanza is China’s Singles’ Day, Alibaba’s 24 hour extravaganza. Here’s everything you need to know about China’s Black Friday.

It’s trademarked by Alibaba

November 11 may have zero religious or cultural significance in China but it does amount to ‘11.11’. This numerical line up reportedly tickled retail giant Alibaba, who savily decided it resembled four single bachelors, or guanggun. Singles’ Day was born, and the retailer trademarked the event in 2012. Since then, other major retailers such a JD.com have also jumped on the bandwagon.

Everything is at least 50% off

In order to ensure optimum revenue streams and whip Chinese consumers into a veritable frenzy, Alibaba offers sizeable discounts across its products. Reductions of this kind see Chinese shoppers makes savings specifically for the event. Investigate for yourself here.

Jack Ma Yun, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Alibaba Group,
CEO of Alibaba Group: Jack Ma Yun

Singles’ Day 2016 could break records

According to predictions, Singles’ Day 2016 could see revenues that far surpass the profits earned in 2015. Estimates suggest this year will see profits of $20 billion — four times as much as the US & UK versions of Black Friday, combined. China Post — the domestic postal system — has predicted that 760 million packages will be sent as a result of Singles’ Day, 200 million more than in 2015.

Up to 59% of shoppers are expected to shop by smartphone

In an interesting reflection of how the Chinese consumer shops, reports estimate that up to 59% of shoppers will buy products from their smartphones. Bloomberg reports that younger and wealthier consumers will be the main drivers of sales; thus mobile-led purchasing is not entirely surprising.

International brands and governments are using it to boost domestic trade

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is using this retail opportunity to drive Chinese consumers to purchase Canadian lobsters and maple syrup. This year, more than 200 overseas merchants have also signed up to the event on Alibaba, and brands with international followings are reportedly leveraging their massive followings on social media platforms Weibo and WeChat to speak to Chinese consumers abroad. The event is a clear testament to the growing affluence of the Chinese market, and newly-elected President Donald Trump should probably be watching, as he begins to consider America’s trade relationship with China.