Imagine Black Friday and Cyber Monday on steroids.  It still wouldn’t be anything near what happens in China on “Singles’ Day, coming up on Thursday. 

It’s an unofficial holiday in China and essentially Christmas coming a month-and-half-early for Alibaba, which took in $78 billion during the 11-day event in 2020 in the middle of the pandemic. 

The e-commerce shopping extravaganza has been around since 2009, when it did just under $8 billion in sales. 

The night before the start of Singles’ Day Alibaba throws a huge bash that features major U.S. entertainers and celebrities.  Taylor Swift was on state in 2019 and Katy Perry performed on a livestream in 2020. 

As for how Singles’ Day compares with big shopping days in the U.S. like Black Friday and Cyber Monday?  They aren’t even in the same stratosphere.  The combined haul for those two days in the U.S. last year brought in just under $20 billion according to an Insider story. 

There’s some other fascinating data connected to the online buying frenzy.  Alibaba claims that during the peak of Singles’ Day in 2020, they were processing 583,000 orders per second.  Per second!

And Jack Ma isn’t the only one getting richer from this.  Savvy influencers know how to cash in as well.  Last year a top Chinese influencer sold $1.7 billion with of his mercy in during a 12-hour livestream prior to the event starting. 

The “Lipstick King,” Austin Li Jiaqi pulled down roughly $140 million per hour.  Good gig if you can get it. 

Add comment

Join the conversation!

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.


VT Audio Episodes