Remember Black Friday? Between all the major brands who participate, combined they don’t do half of what one single company in China sells. You read that right. China’s online bargain hunters made this year’s Singles’ Day the best ever for the 40,000 retailers on Alibaba’s shopping platforms.  The 24 hour sales event organized by Alibaba and held annually on November 11th (“11/11”) raked in more than $14 billion and counting.  An impressive $1 billion of that was made in just the first eight minutes of sales.  That’s pretty amazing for a recently made up holiday celebrating single folks buying gifts for themselves.  Not coincidentally, like BlackFriday.com, someone was smart enough to pick up and set the domains 1111.com & 1111.cn and is likely doing very well with them.

Numbers and their corresponding associations have always been important in Chinese culture.  Singles’ Day annual anniversary date of 11/11 was chosen due to the connection between a single person and the number 1.  This date consists of four ones and was originally meant to encourage the unattached to get together socially to meet new friends or just pamper themselves.  The very notion of a day for single people was novel to the Chinese, who traditionally did not date before marriage, according to Chinese dating expert Yue Xu.  Now, it’s the single biggest internet shopping day in the world, celebrating people rewarding themselves with gifts.

This year’s Singles Day provided a much needed boost to Alibaba, which has seen its stock dip after its huge IPO last fall.  This was followed by its spectacular failure to capture a prized piece of the American online retail market with a similar platform.  As China’s largest e-commerce company, Alibaba handles 80% of China’s e-commerce, with transactions on its sites totaling $248 billion last year, according to the Wall Street Journal.  The company’s founder, Jack Ma, believes that Internet endeavors and e-commerce will become the future growth drivers for China’s economy, and we wholeheartedly agree.

Tracy Fogarty

Founder & CEO at eNaming
With over 20 years in the brokerage business, Tracy Fogarty has helped thousands of clients achieve their goals on both sides of the negotiation table. Creative and result oriented professional, Ms. Fogarty strives on honest communication, value proposition, the big picture perspective, and bottom-line profitability.