At Foreign Policy Liz Carter explains that while lonely Americans “have Reddit and cats,” China has Singles’ Day on Nov. 11, “Double 11,” a holiday marked by a surge of online matchmaking and shopping:
But Chinese have not forgotten about the true meaning of this holiday: hating singlehood. Singles’ Day is an occasion on which Chinese confess their feelings and try to find significant others. On Nov. 7, with four days to go before the holiday, the top trending topic on Weibo, China’s Twitter,was “Help Your Roommate Find Someone.” Over 200,000 people participated in the discussion,posting pictures of their roommates (and sometimes themselves) in hopes of avoiding another lonely Singles’ Day.
Chinese are no strangers to loneliness: There are tens of millions of men in China who may never find love due to the country’s massive gender imbalance, a result of the One Child Policy and a longstanding preference for male children. Chinese women don’t have it easy either: Those who remain unmarried at the ripe old age of 27 risk being labeled “leftover women,” a pejorative term that government organizations have promoted to encourage educated women to settle down. [Source]
At the Wall Street Journal Juro Osawa explains that the world’s largest e-commerce platform, Alibaba, plays a major role in retail therapy on Double 11:
In the U.S., it takes Thanksgiving, plus the approach of the year-end holidays, to trigger the biggest shopping weekend of the year. In China, all it takes is a sale by Alibaba.
Every Nov. 11, millions of Chinese shoppers flock to the e-commerce websites operated by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. They spend more on those sites during that one day of discounts than Americans do on all online retailers on Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. [Source]