China doesn't officially celebrate Black Friday, but Nov. 11 has become the biggest shopping day on the Chinese calendar. E-commerce sales alone reached $4.6 billion this year.
They don’t celebrate Thanksgiving Day here, of course, but Nov. 11, has become the biggest shopping day on the Chinese calendar.
That’s because it is known as “Singles Day” (11.11 – geddit?) – a type of Valentine’s Day for those without lovers, but with friends to whom they give gifts.
Online stores have cashed in on the idea, offering mouthwatering discounts on everything from cars to clothes to tempt consumers online on Singles Day, turning it into a retail bonanza… and it works.
“I hadn’t planned to buy anything but I heard there would be great discounts so I went online to have a look,” says Liu Na, a 20-something book editor. “I bought a blouse and a bag for myself, at 50 percent off.”
This year, e-commerce sales on Nov. 11 reached $4.6 billion, according to an estimate by the Economic Herald, a specialist daily in Shandong province.
That may not look like much compared with “Black Friday” spending in the US (which topped $11.4 billion last year), until you take a couple of things into account: