Today is 11.11 which has two significant meanings in China.
First, today is single’s day or anti-Valentine’s day. 11.11 was picked because of all the ones in the date. Most single young people use this day to get together for food or drinks.
Second, today is China’s version of Black Friday or Cyber Monday. The very popular online shopping site Taobao hosts it’s largest sale of the year where you can get products at half price. Brands such as Nike, Adidas, Lacoste, Gap, Nine West, and more have products available. We even saw cars on sale! How crazy is that?
But you have to be quick. People have been preparing their carts for months leading up to this day. When midnight hits, you have to be ready to click buy.
There’s even a gala leading up to the big day with appearances by well known stars. The gala is a mix between a variety show and QVC where online users can participate by voting on certain actions the stars will do or purchasing the items the stars are showing the audience. David Beckham, Kobe Bryant, and One Republic were in attendance.This year Katy Perry was set to headline the event as a “global ambassador” in Shenzhen, but pulled out because of “family matters”. After watching the Louis C.K. Portlandia episode, we all know what that really means…
11.11 is the biggest online shopping day in the world, far exceeding Black Friday in America. Last year, 91.7 billion RMB was spent on Taobao’s Double 11 day. That’s over 13 BILLION U.S. dollars in just ONE DAY.
Needless to say this day is a BIG DEAL here in China and many man hours are spent preparing for this event. I found a short video (in English) on some of the behind the scenes prep.
This year we picked up a few sweaters ($22), puma sneakers ($59), cute sweatpants ($14.50), and a 4 foot decorated Christmas tree (only $2.94!).
There’s still roughly 10 hours left for today’s sale. Head over to www.taobao.com to browse the deals.