Oct 16

How big is China's global Singles Day and why is it important to you locally?


Edited: Oct 16

The biggest global sales day on earth (not kidding) is called Singles' Day.


How did Singles' Day get its name?


The date - 11.11 - brings together the "1"s representing singleness.


There has always been a sales day and seasonal celebration for family (Chinese New Year, Mid Autumn Festival) or couples (Valentine's Day), but single people were being left out.

Initially Singles' Day started as a kind of anti-Valentine's day. Alibaba quickly saw the purchasing potential and co-opted Singles' Day into an official sales day in the early 2000s. No longer a celebration of singleness Singles' Day is now known as the biggest opportunity to get bargains. If you have a bargain, this is the day to share it. It's also a great day to introduce your brand with a loss-leader.

While Alibaba made the first move we now see Singles Day campaigns on every Chinese ecommerce platform - including individual ecommerce stores.


Singles Day is now the biggest sales day in the world.

In 2018 US$30 billion dollars changed hands in the 24-hour period. $30 billion flowed through Alibaba's Alipay Digital Wallet, with 900 million users worldwide.

Are you getting your share of this?


Due to popularity with consumers, Singles' Day has now evolved well beyond Alibaba to become a global viral phenomenon. The sales day now also extends to reach an additional 900 million WeChat wallet users, all of whom are primed to purchase on 11.11.


Why is Singles' Day important to you locally?


While there are 1.4 billion Chinese people and approximately 900 million WeChat pay and Alipay Wallet holders respectively, over 50 million Chinese people live overseas.


1.4 million Chinese people live across Australia and New Zealand.


Over 100,000 in Auckland, over 500,000 in Sydney and approximately over 100,000 in most other Australian cities.


Perth in Western Australia stands to benefit the most due to being in the Chinese time zone. What this means is that anything that happens in Perth, also happens on China time. So one of the 100,000 Chinese people in Perth could see a sale, tell their friends and reach them immediately at the same time.


It is therefore important to note how Chinese consumers will share Singles' Day bargains, and how this could benefit your local business.


In the West, we use LinkedIn for business, Facebook for personal, and Twitter to complain. In the East, Chinese people use WeChat for everything. (Not kidding!)


WeChat is used for literally everything in your day:




The list of payment options is extensive:


  • Topping up your WeChat Wallet.

  • Contactless payment through QR codes.

  • Sending and Receiving money like PayPal.

  • 2-Way transfers with your Bank Account.

  • Topping up your mobile phone.

  • Investing and reviewing your Wealth portfolio.

  • Paying all your utility bills.

  • Topping up your QQ coins - used for virtual goods on gaming and chat app QQ.

  • Access local public service information and organisations.

  • Support charities.

  • Buy insurance.

  • Set up Electronic Toll Collection.

  • Buy train tickets.

  • Catch a Didi (China's version of Uber).

  • Shop for specials on Ecommerce platform JD.com

  • Get food delivered.

  • Buy movie tickets.

  • Get group discounts on local restaurants and businesses using Dianping (China's Groupon).

  • Book a hotel.

  • Group buy on Pinduoduo (An ecommerce-enabled Chinese version of Pinterest)

  • Get women's fashion inspiration on Meilishuo (Another Pinterest-style website for finding personalised clothing and skincare recommendations).

  • Browse flash sales on VIPSHOP.

  • Shop for second-hand goods on Zhuanzhuan.

  • Find housing via KE.com

  • Even donating to a beggar on a street corner.


Transactions are conducted through QR codes (these are like bar codes) which connect to the Identity and Financial information in the WeChat digital wallet. It is now easier than ever to tap into a range of options for a retailer to sell and receive payments for both Online, website and WeChat and (or) Offline on your physical premises.



The first opportunity for a local business is to understand that there is this very large niche consumer group that you can now easily connect to using Chinese technology.


Red Circle Network and our technical partners, provide you with the technical support. We teach you how to take an eCommerce Digital Pathway (using Apps) to reach your local and global Chinese customers.


While WeChat Personal Accounts are free, WeChat is also a commercial ecosystem that you can use to conduct scalable business. Remembering, that when you engage Chinese consumers locally, they each have extensive networks of friends and family using WeChat, extending the reach of your brand to a global audience, through local people.



It is worthwhile to invest in learning how to access and manage your time inside the WeChat ecosystem, so that you can focus on delivering a customer experience that shares the value of your products and services, growing a loyal customer base for lifetime value.


Start your journey here:










Great article Simon! Interesting to learn the origins and history of Singles Day. :)

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