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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.

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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

“Taobao Life”: This Feature Shows How Much Money You’ve Spent on Taobao

Some users just found out they could’ve bought a house with the money they’ve spent on Taobao.

Manya Koetse

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Over the past few days, a new Taobao feature that allows users to see how much money they have spent on the online shopping platform is flooding Chinese social media.

Taobao Marketplace is China’s biggest online shopping platform. Owned by tech giant Alibaba, Taobao was launched in 2003 to facilitate consumer-to-consumer retail.

For many people, Taobao shopping has become part of their everyday life. Whether it is clothes, pet food, accessories, electronics, furniture – you name it, Taobao has it.

Because buying on Taobao is so easy, fast, and convenient, many online consumers lose track of how much they actually spent on the platform – especially if they have been using it for years already.

Thanks to “Taobao Life,” users can now see the total amount of money spent on their account.

How to do it? First: go to Taobao settings and click the profile account as indicated below.

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Then click the top icon that says “Achievement” (成就).

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And here you find what you have spent in this account in total. On the left: the money spent, on the right: the amount of purchases.

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Since I’ve used started using this Taobao account for the occasional clothes shopping since 2016, I’ve made 122 purchases, spending 7849 yuan ($1140) – a very reasonable amount compared to some other Taobao users, who are now finding out they could have practically bought an apartment with the money they have spent on Taobao.

This user, for example, found out they spent over half a million yuan on Taobao ($75,500).

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This user below has spent over 1,1 million yuan on Taobao ($170,000).

Some people discuss all the things they could have bought with the money they have spent on Taobao over the years: “As soon as I saw the number, I wanted to cry,” one Weibo user writes: “What have I done?!”

Another person, finding out they have spent 230,000 yuan on Taobao ($33,400), writes: “This can’t be true! Surely this must be a mistake!?”

“If I wouldn’t have spent all this money on Taobao, I would’ve been rich,” others say.

The topic of Taobao’s total spending amount has become so popular on Chinese social media this week, causing so much consternation, that Taobao posted a message on its Weibo account on July 27, writing: “We heard you guys couldn’t sleep last night..”

Although many people are shocked to find out the money they’ve spent on Taobao, others console themselves with the thought that adding up everything they have spent on Taobao, they were actually ‘rich’ at some point in their lives.

 

By Manya Koetse , with contributions from Miranda Barnes

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. Please note that your comment below will need to be manually approved if you’re a first-time poster here.

©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

Summer Censorship: Weibo Launches “Project Sky Blue”

No hot summer on Weibo: the social media network announces extra censorship on ‘vulgar content.’

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Earlier this week, the administration of Sina Weibo announced a special summer holiday crackdown on “vulgar content,” including “pornographic novels, erotic anime, pictures or videos.”

In a public announcement that was posted on July 4th, the Weibo administration writes that the primary goal of this campaign is to “create a healthier, more positive environment for underage users” during the summer break period.

The censorship plan is titled “Project Deep Blue” (or: “Project Sky Blue”) (蔚蓝计划), and will use filter systems, human moderators and user reports to censor more content for the upcoming two months.

The project even has its own Weibo account now, where Weibo users can ask questions, report inappropriate content, and get more information on the campaign.

Weibo states it will further expand its team of online content supervisors, and also explicitly encourages netizens to flag ‘inappropriate’ content to make the online community ‘more wholesome.’

The hashtag #ProjectDeepBlue (#蔚蓝计划#) topped the hot search lists on Weibo this week; not necessarily because of the topic’s popularity, but because it was placed there by the social media site’s administration. At time of writing, the hashtag page has attracted more than 180 million views.

Online responses to the summer censorship program are mixed: many commenters voice their support for the latest measure, while others express frustration.

One Weibo user from Hubei calls the latest measure “hypocritical,” arguing that minors surf Weibo just as much during school time as during the summer holiday – suggesting that launching a special censorship program for the summer vacation does not make sense at all.

But many popular comments are in favor of the project, saying: “I support Project Deep Blue, the internet needs to be cleaned up,” and: “China’s young people need to be protected.”

This is not the first time Weibo launches a special intensified censorship program. Throughout the years, it has repeatedly carried out ‘anti-pornography‘ campaigns in cooperation with Chinese cyberspace authorities.

Often, the crusade against ‘vulgar’ content also ends up being used for the purpose of censoring political content rather than to actually eradicate ‘obscenities’ (read more).

By now, it seems that many Weibo users are quite actively using the Project Deep Blue tag to report on other users who are posting violent or vulgar content.

“If you’re not careful, you’re hit with vulgar and obscene content the moment you’re on the internet,” well-known mom blogger Humapanpan (@虎妈潘潘) writes: “Now that the summer holiday is coming, I hope we can join the Project Deep Blue, and clean up the internet environment.  Actively report obscene content the moment you see it – let’s protect our future together.”

By Skylar Xu & Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. Please note that your comment below will need to be manually approved if you’re a first-time poster here.

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

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