“It is ‘one of the few bright spots in the Chinese economy,’ says Zeng Ming. He is talking about e-commerce. Mr Zeng, the chief strategy officer for Alibaba, a giant Chinese internet firm, predicts that digital transactions on his firm’s platforms will top 1 trillion yuan ($159 billion) this year—more than Amazon’s and eBay’s combined. That is a bold claim; but consider what happened on Singles Sunday.
Invented a few years ago by students and seized upon by digital marketers, this festival for lonely hearts falls annually on the 11th day of the 11th month (since 1 is the loneliest number). It is like St Valentine’s Day, only worse. Singletons shower each other with tender gifts: a barrage of pearls; a storm of sweets. This November 11th they spent a staggering 19 billion yuan on Alibaba’s online platforms—a fourfold increase on a year ago, and more than double what Americans spent online last Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving, when retailers urge Americans to shop online). More than 100m purchases were logged, accounting for 80% of the packages shipped that day.”
(Taken from The Economist ‘Pity the Parcel People’, 17th November)
These numbers are staggering.Read more