Singles Day is not a dating app that you have yet to try, although it was originally created by a group of Chinese university students as an anti-Valentine’s Day celebration.
Singles Day, which occurs on 11/11 each year, was quickly co-opted by Alibaba.com in 2009 and today it is a global online shopping event that mints money for online superstore Alibaba and its largest competitors.
Donald Trump said his administration’s tariffs on Chinese goods have put the country’s economy on the ropes. Chinese shoppers gave little indication of concern last week, charging out of the gate with $1 billion spent via Alibaba platforms in the first 68 seconds.
Some of the top-selling products early in the day included the 5G version of Huawei’s Mate 30 Pro smartphone, as well as Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max.
State-run Xinhua news agency said the “Singles’ Day” performance proved China, once known as the “world’s factory”, had evolved into a globally powerful consumer market of its own.
Alibaba Is All About Star Power
— Alibaba Group (@AlibabaGroup) October 28, 2019
To help boost sales, Hangzhou-based Alibaba expanded the number of discounted items in this year’s event and put a heavy emphasis on livestreaming via its platforms to help sell goods. They also hired U.S. pop star Taylor Swift to perform live at the retail kickoff.
Pop stars and influencers speak to their fans about products, as they do on QVC in America. On Wednesday, Kim Kardashian West appeared live on the Chinese site to announce that her fragrance brand KKW will be available for sale on Tmall.
“Being able to sell product in China is just such a dream come true for me,” said Kardashian West.
When you do the math here, you can understand her excitement. 500 million people made an online purcahse on Singles Day this year, 100 million more than last year. Chinese consumers planned to spend 54% more this year than in 2018, but 78% of Chinese surveyed said they would think twice about buying U.S. products due to loyalty to their country.