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11 Things to Know About China’s 11/11 Single’s Day

China’s Single’s Day, November 11, is the biggest shopping spree of the world. In a 24-hour online sale, Chinese netizens spend billions buying goods on China’s biggest e-commerce platforms.

Manya Koetse

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China’s Single’s Day, November 11, is the biggest shopping spree of the world. In a 24-hour online sale, Chinese netizens spend billions buying goods on China’s biggest e-commerce platforms. What’s on Weibo gives an overview of 11 things to know about 11/11.

1. China’s Single’s Day (双十一节 or 单身节), also known as ‘Bare Branch Day’ (光棍节), is an annual non-official holiday celebrated on November 11 (11月11日). Because the date 11/11 resembles solitary stick figures, it has come to represent China’s singles.

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2. The holiday is believed to have started in 1993 at Nanjing University, where some students came together to think of an initiative to celebrate singledom and chose November 11 as their national day. It then became a cherished day for China’s netizens.

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3. Single’s Day is a day to go out for partying, eating and shopping, and spending time with friends. A typical Single’s Day’s snack is the deep-fried breadstick (油条) because its shape is just like a ‘1’. People usually eat 2 or 4 sticks to symbolize 11/11.

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4. China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba, founded by the famous Jack Ma, chose Single’s Day to organize a large-scale online sale on its Taobao Mall (Tmall/天猫) in 2009. When sales exceeded all expectations, the ’11/11 Shopping Festival’ (双十一购物狂欢节) became an annual festival. Afterward, Single’s Day became mostly known as an annual online shopping day. Besides Tmall, other e-commerce sites such as JD.com (京东) and Suning (苏宁) also have sales on this day.

5. The Single’s Day Shopping Festival is all about the bigger brands that can be found on Alibaba’s e-commerce platform Tmall. Because the smaller merchants that are active on Alibaba’s Taobao suffer from the November 11 sales, December 12 (双十二) has become the day that smaller and medium sellers on Taobao have their sales.

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6. On 11/11, netizens love to buy anything from apparel, electronics, to health and beauty products. In 2015, Xiaomi smartphones and Huawei smartphones were among the top-selling items on TMall.

In terms of women’s fashion, foreign brands like Uniqlo and ONLY were among the most popular ones. But products like Fisher Price toys, Mattel’s Barbie dolls, or Converse sneakers have also done good business on Single’s Day in previous years.

7. From 2012 to 2015, the total volume sale of the 24-hour shopping festival went from approximately 3 billion US$ in 2012 to a staggering 14.3 billion US$ in 2015.

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8. This year, the continuing trend of the Single’s Day shopping festival already broke records on Alibaba’s Paypal-equivalent Alipay within 7 minutes after it started.

9. While consumers profit from Single’s Day with discounts on brands of up to 70% and many buy-one-get-one-free promotions, the occasion also is a day for overtime and extra working hour for many workers. Approximately 1.7 million couriers and postal workers are on standby to deliver about 760 million packages from 5000 warehouses.

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10. There is an annual top list of most popular products on sale during Single’s Day, giving great insights into up-to-date Chinese consumer preferences (keep an eye on What’s on Weibo for more about this). This year has seen a big shift from smartphones being best-sold products to high-tech accessories becoming more popular. Gadgets such as smart wristbands and wireless speakers are among the top selling items this year.

 

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11. The hashtag “I won’t buy anything on Single’s Day” (#双11什么都不买#) is ubiquitous on Chinese social media on Single’s Day – no matter how good the bargains may be, many netizens say they simply do not have the money to buy anything but a deep-fried dough stick.

– By Manya Koetse
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©2016 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of www.whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, popular culture, and gender issues. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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China Digital

TikTok’s In-Video Search Function (And How to Activate It)

TikTok shows a glimpse of what in-video search is going to look like in the future.

Manya Koetse

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What is TikTok’s new in-video search function and how to activate it?

Twitter’s most awesome WeChat guru Matthew Brennan recently posted about an “in-video search function” launched in the Chinese social video app TikTok (抖音). (Click here to read about the difference between the Chinese and overseas version of TikTok).

As shown in a video posted by Brennan, the function allows TikTok users to select the face or clothes of a person appearing in a short video to search for other videos or images containing the same person or clothes.

The ‘vision search’ is a powerful new function within the super popular app.

The idea is that it becomes easier than ever for Tiktok users to find (and buy!) a piece of clothing, that perfect handbag, or even a snack featured in a video.

It also helps users to quickly find other videos in which an online celebrity appears. The function ultimately is an additional feature that keeps users scrolling and shopping within the app – increasing app traffic – as long as possible.

On September 16, Chinese media reported about the function as a “powerful” new tool that greatly strengthens the functionality of the popular short video app.

The function might not immediately seem completely new to Chinese app users; like Google Image Search, Baidu and Taobao also have similar functions (百度识图, 淘宝识图).

On e-commerce platform Taobao, for example, you can take a photo of an item you want (e.g. a certain snack as in example below) and Taobao will try to find the exact same product and list the online stores where you can buy it.

But TikTok’s in-video search function is on a whole new level; it does not require users to scan or upload a photo at all. It gives an indication of what visual search will be like in the future.

Whatever video comes by in your TikTok stream, you only need to click the “search” function (识图), select the part of the video you want to search for (you can drag the square from area to area), and TikTok will find the product or face you’re looking for – as long as there are comparable products/faces (it does so very fast).

Very much like Taobao, TikTok will recommend various (in-app) online stores where the product can be purchased.

Want to try out the function? For now, it only works in the Chinese version of the app and is still in the ‘testing phase’ and does not work with all videos.

Make sure you have an updated version of TikTok.

1. Go to “me” (我) page within TikTok
2. Tick the three lines in the top right corner
3. Go to the last option in the sidebar menu titled “lab” (实验室)
4. Activate the function (image below).

So now if you spot a dress you like and would like to buy, press the ‘search’ button on the right of a video, select the dress, and TikTok becomes like your personal shopping assistant looking for similar dresses for you.

Tiktok makes shopping supereasy.

This really makes online shopping more addictive than ever, and also makes it more difficult for people in online videos to hide where they bought their clothing, or what other videos they are in.

Read more about Tiktok here.
Read more about Chinese apps here.

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us.

©2019 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com

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China Digital

Didi Riders Can Now Have “Verified Party Members” Drive Them Around

Party-building 3.0? Didi has got it covered.

Manya Koetse

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First published

This is Party-building in the new era: Didi now allows users of its Premier Car Service to let a verified Party member drive them to their destination.

On September 20, as the People’s Republic of China is nearing its 70th-anniversary celebrations, the country’s most popular taxi-hailing app Didi published an article on Weibo and WeChat explaining its verified Party Member Driver Program.

Recently, riders in Beijing may have noticed something different at Didi’s Premier Car service, which is called “Licheng” 礼橙专车 since June of last year.

Some of Licheng’s drivers now have a red background to their profile photos accompanied by a Communist Party emblem. Upon clicking the profile of these drivers, customers will see that this driver is a Party Member Driver (“党员司机”) – meaning that the Didi driver’s status as a Party member has been verified through Didi’s “Red Flag Steering Wheel” program (红旗方向盘项目) that was set up in November 2018.

Didi’s “Red Flag Steering Wheel” program (红旗方向盘项目) that was set up in November 2018. Image via Guancha.

Didi writes that these drivers can also be identified as Party members through the red sticker on the dashboard at the passenger side, which literally says “Party member driver.”

The article explains that the recent project is an effort to contribute to China’s Party-building in the digital era, and that Didi aims to establish a Party member community within its company.

This car is driven by a Party member (image via Didi/Weibo).

The company is apparently planning to make this community a lively one, as it promises to provide online and offline activities that will help these drivers stay up to date with the latest developments within the Party, and that will increase their “Party awareness.”

Starting this month, Didi will reportedly also offer “patriotic classes” to all of its drivers via its online classroom program.

China has more than 88 million Party members. Party membership does not come overnight; those who want to become a Communist Party member need to attend Party courses, pass written tests, be recommended by other members, and pass a screening (read more here).

As for now, riders cannot manually pick to have a Party member as their driver; a nearby driver will be automatically selected when they order a car – if it is a Party member, they will know straight away from the driver’s profile.

For now, Didi has set up “mobile Party branches” in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and a number of other cities.

On Weibo, some see the initiative as a marketing move from Didi’s side. “If you hear the driver is a Party member, you know it’s reliable. It’s a good thing.”

The past year was a tough year for Didi, after the murders of two young women by their Didi driver made national headlines, causing outrage and concerns about customer’s safety when hailing a car through the Didi company.

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us.

©2019 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com

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