Biggest Shopping Day of the Year in China – Nov. 11


Are you ready for the biggest shopping day of the year? No – it’s not Black Friday in the U.S. The biggest shopping day of the year in on November 11 (Singles Day) in China. The holiday began as a celebration for people who are single, chosen because of the connection between singles and the number ‘1’. November 11 now serves as an occasion for single people to party – and shop.

How big is it? Well, last year it topped $9.3 billion in sales. Last year also marked the entry of many foreign brands entering the frenzy, all vying for a percentage of the sales on Alibaba’s retail platforms – Tmall and Taobao. This year the event is being touted as the biggest online shopping event in the world with more than six million products, 5,000+ international brands, 40,000+ merchants from 25 countries.

Why is it so important for global brands to enter this shopping day? Consider that there are roughly 300 million middle-class shoppers in China, rising to an estimated 500 million in the next 10-15 years.

While Singles Day may have originally started for lonely Chinese consumers, the shopping day now is seen as critical to driving China’s – and the world’s – economy. What will you buy?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Most students will not have previously heard of China’s Single Day. Discuss the shopping holiday and its importance in China.
  2. View a recent video about the 2015 event:
  3. Discuss how this holiday compares to Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the U.S.
  4. What products do students expect to be big sellers on Singles Day? Why these products?

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