Black Friday — and Cyber Monday — is a great invention because we get to go crazy buying stuff at lower prices. But you know what’s even better? Alibaba’s Singles Day shopping bonanza. Called the 11/11 Global Shopping Festival, it’s an annual 24-hour online shopping spree of sorts by the Chinese internet giant which falls on Nov. 11, otherwise known as Singles Day in China because of its collection of ones. It’s essentially Asia’s version of Black Friday created by Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang in 2009 to draw buyers to Alibaba’s shopping platform, Tmall. But simply calling the extravaganza an Asian take on Black Friday is doing it injustice. It’s much much bigger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined, shattering records last year when it raked in $25.3 billion in sales. Singles Day was chosen by Zhang to host the event because he thought it’d reduce feelings of being alone if lonely hearts can enjoy buying themselves great stuff online. But this has little to do with being single and a lot more to do with getting you — single or not — to part with your moolah on the internet. There are 180,000 Chinese and international brands celebrating the 10th 11/11 shopping spree this year with goods offered at atomised prices. Think pizza combos under $4 and KFC meals under $2 (it’s lunch as I write this), or even last-minute winter and Christmas shopping at a steal. If this all sounds tantalizing (or maybe you just want to… [Read full story]
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