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China consumers prepare for record Singles Day

China's economic rebalancing towards more consumer-oriented growth has global businesses cautious, but pessimists need only look at the country's annual e-commerce event for a powerful reminder of consumer buying power.

Created by a group of young Chinese in the 1990s, the holiday known as Singles Day was originally a way to celebrate single life. Held on November 11 every year, it's popularly described as 'China's anti-Valentine's Day.'

As the holiday acquired nation-wide popularity, Alibaba became the first major company in 2009 to monetize the holiday by launching a special online sale and effectively transforming the day into the world's biggest 24-hour online shopping event, one that reflects the growing wealth of China's middle-class. Other e-commerce players like JD.com have since began offering their own Singles Day sales too.

This year, the holiday—also referred to as Double 11—could record its best performance yet.

According to a new Nielsen survey, 56 percent of more than 1,000 internet users in China said they would...


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