How Alibaba turned a fake holiday into a $25 billion shopping extravaganza

  • Singles’ Day has become the largest shopping day in the entire world, thanks to Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba.
  • Alibaba made $US25 billion in just 24 hours on November 11, 2017 – that’s more than US Black Friday and Cyber Monday online sales combined.
  • Watch the video above to find out how this made up holiday was invented and exploded into a billion dollar shopping extravaganza that rivals Amazon’s ‘Prime Day.’

The following is a transcript of the video.

25 Billion Dollars. That’s how much Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, made in just 24 hours on November 11, 2017.

That’s more than the total online US sales from both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Combined.

It happened during an unofficial Chinese holiday called: Singles’ Day. But what is Alibaba, what is “Singles’ Day,” and how did they make so much money so quickly?

Singles’ Day literally translates to “Bare Sticks Holiday.” A reference to the Chinese expression: “bare branches.” The expression refers to bachelors who aren’t adding “branches” to the family tree.

Now, all of this is rooted in China’s one-child policy. Implemented between 1978 and 1980, it was intended to curb the country’s overpopulation problem. But the policy had unintended blowback.

China now has a massive gender imbalance. By 2020, it’s projected that men will outnumber females by at least 30 million. Hence, “Singles’ Day.”

From this national turmoil, the unofficial holiday was born at this university. It’s a day that was initially meant for single men to party with other single friends.

Though, fast forward to 2009. Alibaba’s CEO, Daniel Zhang, sees a business opportunity to co-opt the unofficial holiday in an attempt to drum up more online sales.

In China, spikes in shopping sales were common in late September, before China’s National Day. And again in the first two months of the year before the Spring Festival.

Those two retail poles created a lull in late autumn, which Alibaba hoped to exploit with deep price cuts.

And it worked. Seeing the potential of Alibaba’s move, most Chinese retailers jumped on board the next year.

Now, Singles’ Day has become the biggest shopping day in the entire world. And it looks like it’s just going to get even bigger.

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