Guānggùn Jié - Single's Day

As we all know the biggest spending season in Europe is Christmas and there’s Thanksgiving Black Friday for the US, but what about for China?

It used to be the Chinese/Lunar new year , but since 11th November 2009, a group of male single students from Nanjing University decided to set a date to celebrate “being single”. There is a lot of saying why they have chosen 11th Nov in particular, but if you look at it in DDMM formation, it's 1111. “1” resembles an individual that is single.

At first it has nothing to do with spending, just a small group of single male students gathered and had a party, that's why it is also known as "Bachelors' Day," but shortly after that things went viral, and everyone flooded the internet with sales promotions. Especially in year 2011, this date having six "1" instead of four, marked as "Single’s Day of the Century".

The word Guang (光) in Chinese also have multiple meanings, just like many other words. One of them is “Sold Out”. Biggest online business platform in China -TaoBao of Alibaba saw the opportunity to help its members to clear off their stock by offering Single's day discount and giving away free coupons. Many online stores followed, some of them even offer discount of up to 90% off, during Single's day everybody just treasure hunt now, including females and the non-singles.

It turns out to be a great success, this festival has gradually become one of the largest online shopping days in the world! With sales in Alibaba's sites Tmall and Taobao at US$5.8 billion in 2013, US$9.3 billion in 2014, and a record-breaking US$14.3 billion in 2015! Unlike traditional festivals, no one knows how much longer this “virtual festival” is going to last, one thing for sure is – never underestimate the power of the internet, and marketing!

Photo Credits: Robbert Noordzij)

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