Singles’ Day in China started in the 1990s as an unofficial celebration among young singles on November 11, or 11.11. The number “1” resembles a “bare stick,” a slang term for bachelors in China. In 2009, China’s e-commerce company Alibaba Group launched its first Singles’ Day sale, which saw unprecedented success. Nowadays, Alibaba’s Singles’ Day trade value has grown almost 400-fold in the past ten years, with over one billion orders placed on that day on its e-commerce platforms. In 2019, Singles’ Day sales were no longer a solo act of Alibaba. Now, most of China’s major online retailers participate in this phenomenal autumn shopping event. In that year, Alibaba’s main competitor JD.com and Pinduoduo, recorded 223 million and 97 million active users on Singles’ Day.
Year on year, Singles’ Day sales attract an increasing number of online shoppers worldwide, especially in Southeast Asia. Nearly one-third of Indonesian online shoppers purchased items on Singles’ Day, according to a survey in 2018. In Singapore, more than 80 percent of the online shoppers showed interest in participating in the Singles’ Day sales. In Europe, consumers spent billions of British Pounds on Singles’ Day as well.