Explainer: Why 12/12 is the Sequel to Singles' Day

By Matthew Bossons, December 11, 2019

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The Explainer is where we explain an aspect of Chinese life. Simple. So now you know.

Tomorrow is ‘Double 12,’ the follow-up to last month’s record-breaking Singles’ Day – the steroid-pumped Chinese version of Black Friday.

The online shopping holiday is the (partial) invention of e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba – the owner of popular shopping websites Taobao and Tmall.

If you are unfamiliar with Singles’ Day (you’ve been living a pretty sheltered life for starters), it’s a quasi-holiday originally started by lonely single college students. Since the day’s humble beginnings, Alibaba has transformed it into an online shopping extravaganza with major retailers slashing prices for 24 hours. Last month, Alibaba sold RMB10 billion in goods in the first 96 seconds of the event.

The concept behind Double 12, according to Alibaba, is to profile small and medium-sized brands that may have been trampled by larger businesses on Singles’ Day.

It’s unclear how successful tomorrow's sale will be, as it received considerably less build-up than Singles’ Day (which reportedly brought in over RMB268.4 billion in total sales for Alibaba), but – based on the deals we've seen – we are reasonably confident there will be some happy shoppers.

For more of The Explainer, click here

This article was originally published on Thatsmags.com on December 11, 2016. It has been updated and republished on December 11, 2019.

[Cover image via Tmall.com]

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