Looks like you don’t need a significant other to buy gifts for the holidays. On November 11, single Chinese men and women celebrated Single Person’s Day by shopping online. The unofficial holiday that started as joke on college campuses in the early 90s has slowly become tradition and Taoball Mall (Tmall)–China’s largest B2C marketplace–has recognized the holiday’s powerful business implications.
With savvy marketing and sales discounts, Tmall raked in over 800 million U.S. dollars according to some estimates. The 936 million yuan that was sold on the same day last year was reached in less than 10 hours.
“Tmall.com single-handedly turned Nov. 11 into an online shopping season,” said Chen Hu, vice president of the online store Leotao.org.
Real malls did not fair as well, considering that the holiday’s designation as an unofficial festival doesn’t allow people to get off work.
“This event is yet another example that online shopping has become the new engine of China’s consumer economy as traditional retail industry remains sluggish,” said Qu Weizhi, president of the China Electronics Champber of Commerce.