Happy Single's Day. (Huh, What?)

Nic Crowther
Wed 11 Nov

Welcome to the biggest online retail purchasing day of the year. Unless you have Chinese friends, it’s unlikely you’ve ever heard of of it.

Today is Singles’ Day – 11.11. In true Chinese fashion there is plenty of symbolism, so imagine those numbers as symbols of lonely people standing all alone. While the idea of Singles’ Day originated only 30 years ago at Nanjing University, the idea has spread like wildfire across the country as the students of that school graduated and grew influence within business and society.



Fast forward to 2015, and what does the day mean now? Well, it’s basically all of the Christmas shopping season (including Boxing Day) rolled in to one and then injected with more steroids than the Russian athletics team.

Jack Ma loves Singles’ Day. If you haven’t heard of him either, he is a guy with more money than God thanks to his online retail behemoth, Ali Baba.



So, what does Single’s Day mean to Mr Ma? Last year the company pumped US$9.8 billion through its electronic cash registers, and today is expected to be bigger. Such is the value of Single’s Day Even the term "双十一" (meaning "Double 11") was trademarked in Ma and his company years ago. Clever boy.

Now worth an estimated US$150 billion (almost twice the size of eBay and Paypal combined), Ali Baba is the go-to for online retailing in China and has become the main portal for sales on this day. There is an English language app in both Apple and Google’s app stores if you want to get involved in Singles’ Day, otherwise you can click the graphic below to check out the specials available. It all starts at 7.00pm AEDST.



It will be fascinating to see the numbers around this annual shopping spree. With the economy loosing up after a couple of years of austerity, young and upwardly-mobile Chinese might be ready to loosen the purse strings and spend big. Be sure to check out the news later tonight.