Singles’ Day Draws in Online Shoppers

China Daily reports Singles’ Day promotions have successfully draw in online shoppers. This report comes amid  the shift in political power with the 18th party congress and claims of the continuing need for economic growth: By 7 pm on Sunday, 14.1 billion yuan of transactions were made on Tmall and Taobao, the two online shopping websites of Alibaba. That could make Singles’ Day the biggest e-commerce sales day on record. The research company comScore said US online retailers saw $1.25 billion of sales during last year’s Cyber Monday, the day after Thanksgiving weekend and the busiest day for online retailers as US shoppers start to prepare for Christmas. “In the past, people only shopped online occasionally, but now, online shopping is a lifestyle embraced by many,” said Zhang Yong, Tmall president. “I don’t know whether we would lose money, but I don’t think we could earn much on this day by selling goods at half price,” said Hao Hongfeng, chairman of Beijing Jiuxian E-Commerce, a liquor retailer in Beijing who took part in the event. Although the demand for Chinese exports is down, the holiday has boosted sales in China. According to AP, the holiday began in the 1990s among Chinese college students: Singles Day was begun by Chinese college students in the 1990s as a version of Valentine’s Day for people without romantic partners. The timing was based on the date: Nov. 11, or “11.11” — four singles. Unattached young people would treat each other to dinner or give gifts to woo that special someone and end their single status. That gift-giving helped to turn it into a major shopping event as sellers of everything from jewelry to TVs to cars saw a marketing opportunity and launched Singles Day sales. It is China’s answer to Cyber Monday in the ...
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