Double-11 or Singles Day: the Chinese are buying the Internet empty

Status: 11.11.2021 12:20 p.m.

The biggest shopping event of the year will take place in China on November 11th. Record sales are regularly made on “Singles Day”. But whether that will work this year as well is an open question.

By Benjamin Eyssel, ARD-Studio Beijing

Weeks before November 11th, people in China will be notified of the upcoming date and the discounts that will be available in all possible ways – on the Internet, on television, on billboards or in conversations with family and friends. Shuang 11 – literally translated as “the double eleven” – is everywhere.

Benjamin Eyssel
ARD-Studio Peking

What began more than ten years ago in China as a shopping campaign as part of the so-called “Singles Day” is now referred to as the largest shopping event in the world. Online retailers outside of China are now also participating. And records have been set year after year.

Looking forward to a day of shopping

Last year alone, the Internet group Alibaba reported that around November 11th, worldwide sales were around 65 billion euros – most of it with the Chinese online platform Taobao. That was almost twice as much as in 2019 and a multiple of what the US group Amazon implements in comparable campaigns.

However, experts speak of huge catch-up effects: Millions of Chinese would wait months to make purchases in the hope of discounts.

Records this year too?

Many observers are curious to see whether records will be set this year as well. Technology and Internet companies in China have recently come under closer scrutiny from the state and party leadership.

In addition, the latest effects of the Covid-19 pandemic cannot yet be foreseen. Problems with international supply chains could mean that certain products from abroad are only available in limited quantities. In addition, because of coal bottlenecks in China, electricity has been switched off again and again in many parts of the country. What effects this will have on the production of consumer goods cannot yet be foreseen.

Double-11 or Singles Day: the Chinese are buying the Internet empty

Benjamin Eyssel, ARD Beijing, 11.11.2021 · 08:31

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