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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.

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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, Sino-Japanese relations and gender issues. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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China Comic & Games

China’s Latest Online Viral Game Makes You Clap for Xi Jinping

Smart propaganda – now clapping for Xi Jinping has become a competition.

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In a new online game that has come out during the 19th National Congress in Beijing, Chinese netizens can compete in applauding for Xi Jinping. The game has become an online hit.

The major 19th CPC National Congress started on Wednesday in Beijing with a speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping that took nearly 3,5 hours.

The speech, that focused on China’s future and its rise in the world today, was repeatedly paused for the appropriate applause from the party members in the audience.

With the introduction of a new game by Tencent, people can now also clap along to Xi Jinping’s speech from their own living room. The game became an online hit on October 18. It was already played over 400 million times by 9 pm Beijing time.

The mobile game can be opened through a link that takes you to a short segment of the lengthy speech by Xi Jinping. In the short segment, President Xi mentions that it is the mission of the Communist Party of China to strive for the happiness and the rise of the Chinese people.

The app then allows you “clap” for Xi by tapping the screen of your phone as many times as you can within a time frame of 18 seconds. After completing, you can invite your friends to play along and compete with them.

The game has become especially popular on WeChat, where some users boast that they have scored a ‘clap rate’ of 1695.

If you’re up to it, you can try to clap as much as you can for Xi Jinping here (mobile only).
(Update Friday, October 20: the game link now redirects to the Tencent News site themed around the 19th Party Congress through desktop. On mobile, the game still works, and has been played over 1,2 billion times.)

With a score of 1818 you’re better than 99% of all players.

By Manya Koetse and Diandian Guo

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

©2017 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

This Digital Device Now Helps Chinese Police Catch Traffic Violators

After RoboCop, here’s Guardrail Drone: this high-tech device makes it easier and safer for Chinese police to catch traffic violators.

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A new digital device makes it easier and safer for Chinese police to catch traffic violators. A local experiment with the police gadget proved successful earlier this year.

From now on, it might no longer be the police that warns drivers to drive slowly through construction zones or to get off the emergency lane. A new digital device can now help Chinese traffic police to send out warnings or to catch people violating traffic rules.

The automated device can be placed on the guardrail and is directly connected to the smartphone of the police officer controlling it. Through the camera on the device, the police can see when someone is driving on the emergency lane and can send out police warning signs and sounds through the speakers on the device.

On Chinese social media, a video on how the device works has been making its rounds over the past few days. Some netizens say the new device is just “awesome,” and others warn drivers not to use the traffic lane; the chances of getting caught are now bigger because of the police’s new helper.

The device was first successfully tested locally in May of this year at a Zhejiang Expressway, NetEase’s Huang Weicheng (黄唯诚) reported in July of this year.

Earlier in 2017, police also experimented with a new police robot, jokingly called ‘Robocop’ by netizens, to help police catching fugitives and answer questions from people at the train station.

In our latest Weivlog we will tell you all about this ‘guardrail drone’; how it works and where it has been implemented:

By Manya Koetse

NB: Please attribute What’s on Weibo when quoting from this article.
Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us.

©2017 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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