Singles’ Day: China’s $25 billion shopping festival explained

This Sunday is November 11, an auspicious date within the Chinese tech community because it marks Singles’ Day, the world’s largest online shopping day. This year is particularly poignant because it will be the tenth edition of the annual event — also known as Double Eleven — since it was created by Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant.

Singles’ Day is huge business today. Alibaba sold more than $25 billion in goods last year as 11.11 moved outside of China into other regions within Asia and beyond. The company has consistently grown its sales tally year-on-year, so it’s fair to expect $35 billion or more in trading to take place this Sunday — even though there are doubts over China’s economy and an ongoing trade war with the U.S.

We’ve dug into the phenomenon so that, this year, you’re well-prepared on what to expect.

What is it?

The event is akin to Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the U.S., but it is 2.5 times larger than both of those dates put together. Alibaba discounts a range of products across its online sales platforms, which include its Taobao marketplace, Tmall store for brands,

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