China goes on a Singles’ Day online shopping spree

BY newsdesk  November 11, 2013 at 3:45 PM EST

Move over Cyber Monday. China’s annual online shopping festival has you beat.

Alibaba.com, China’s biggest e-retailer

Sales on Singles’ Day — also known as Double 11 because of it’s date on Nov. 11– totaled $3.1 billion for China’s biggest e-retailer, Alibaba, last year. For comparison, U.S. shoppers spent just $1.5 billion on Cyber Monday in 2012.

The holiday has long been a significant day for those without significant others in China. But, five years ago the online retailer Alibaba began urging singles to celebrate the day with shopping, turning 11/11 into the biggest online shopping day of the year.

The nation’s 240 million online consumers can use the day to take advantage of deep discounts on everything from boyfriend-shaped body pillows to BMWs. China Market Research Group forecasts this year’s Singles’ Day sales to hit around $5 billion.