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Thread: China's Single Day

  1. #1
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    China's Single Day

    China's Single Day - bigger than Black Friday and expected to smash $20bn
    Singles Day, the biggest online shopping day in history
    Ashley Armstrong, retail editor
    10 NOVEMBER 2017 • 1:21PM

    China is in gearing up for Single's Day, the world's biggest shopping event, as $20bn (£15bn) is forecast to be splurged in just 24 hours as companies across the world try to cash in on the spending spree.

    Single's Day started as an obscure "anti-Valentine's" celebration for single people in China back in the 1990s, but it has spawned into the world's biggest online shopping day after Jack Ma, the billionaire owner of shopping giant Alibaba spotted an opportunity.

    In China November 11 is known as "bare sticks holiday" because of how it looks numerically (11.11) and has become a way for people to celebrate their singledom. Its estimated that by 2020 there will be 35m more men under the age of 30 in China than women, partly due to the country's long standing one-child policy which favoured sons.

    Alibaba began launching "Double 11" deals in 2009 just as online shopping was starting to explode and trademarked the term "Singles Day" by 2012.


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    Since then it has become a huge global event, complete with a Super Bowl-type gala with celebrity guests such as David and Victoria Beckham . This year Alibaba has called on British popstar Jessie J and Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman to provide glamour and the Blue Man Group performers for entertainment at the Shanghai-based event.

    Meanwhile Jack Ma is using the shopping festival to debut a film career, appearing as a Tai Chi master in a short film, "Gong Shou Dou".


    Jack Ma's movie poster which allows users to superimpose their own faces alongside the billionaire

    Last year Chinese shoppers spent $17.8bn in 24 hours, with $1bn splashed in the first hour as consumers rushed to pick up bargains. This resulted in 467 million parcels being delivered after 710 million payments were made, according to Chinese news agency Xinhua.

    "The China Express Association predicts that the industry will handle more than 1 billion packages this year," commented James Hebbert, UK managing director of Hylink. "This is despite a slowdown in China’s economic growth and more cautious consumer spending."

    The Singles Day splurge dwarfs other retail spending and it was triple the $5.9bn spent by US shoppers across Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Thanksgiving last year. The 24-hour shopping event is also 18 times the size of Amazon's Prime Day.


    Alibaba's Singles Day event last year came complete with a dance routine

    "By 2020, China’s e-commerce market is set to be larger than those of the US, Japan, Germany, the UK and France combined," commented Nick Landon, managing director of Royal Mail Parcels.

    This year Alibaba is playing into Chinese consumer's growing taste of alcohol by publicising an exclusive deal that allows customers to buy a lifetime supply of a liquor for just 11,111 yuan (£1,269).

    Around 60,000 international brands are expected to take part in this year's Single's Day. Upmarket British grocer Waitrose is expecting sales of its goods including English wine and biscuits and tea, which are available on Alibaba's TMall, to quadruple this year.

    “It's difficult to ignore the importance of the Chinese market, particularly ecommerce, as demand for high quality, British products continues to grow rapidly, said Waitrose business manager Daniel Armstrong. "Our sales in China are already up almost 75 per cent on last year and we expect Singles Day to provide another huge boost this weekend.”
    This is why Gong Shou Dao is being released tomorrow - China's Single Day.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  2. #2
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    Crass? It's Kung Fu & Tai Chi.

    Jack Ma is using Singles Day, a symbol of crass commercialism, to revitalize Tai Chi in China


    Jack Ma (C), chairman of China's largest e-commerce firm Alibaba Group, performs Tai Chi as guests and visitors take pictures and videos, at a opening ceremony of a Tai Chi school in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province May 10, 2013. Jack Ma stepped down as chief executive of Alibaba Group on Friday. The Tai Chi school was co-founded by Ma and Chinese action movie star Jet Li, local media reported.
    Focus. (Reuters/China Daily)

    WRITTEN BY Josh Horwitz
    4 hours ago

    Alibaba always puts on a spectacle on Singles Day, its annual online shopping extravaganza—and this year founder Jack Ma’s martial arts obsession is a part of it.
    Ma’s appearing in a 24-minute martial arts film, Gong Shou Dao, alongside Jet Li, Tony Jaa, and other movie stars, that’s premiering as part of the shopping festival countdown. The film stems from Jack Ma’s lifelong love of martial arts that has informed both his professional life and personal life. And it marks another step in his ongoing effort to revitalize the ancient practice and take it global.

    “Business, even if you die, I may not win.”
    “I use Tai Chi philosophy in the business,” Ma said at Davos in 2015 (link to video). “Calm down—there is always a way out. And keep yourself balanced. Business is a competition, and competition is fun. Business is not like a battlefield—you die or I win. Business, even if you die, I may not win.”

    The opening ceremony, which is televised and starts in the evening of Nov. 10, will also feature the sorts of celebrities that usually characterize the countdown, such as Pharrell Williams Katy Perry, and tennis pro Maria Sharapova. They, along with the film, will help kick off what is expected to be a $24 billion orgy of spending this year.

    At the core of company culture

    Ma’s appreciation for Chinese martial arts and Tai Chi—a graceful, meditiative variant—stems from his long-held admiration for the work of Louis Cha, a Hong Kong-based writer who published under the pen name Jin Yong. Epic adventures roughly akin to the works of J.R.R Tolkien in the west, Jin Yong’s serials mesh Chinese history with elaborate fight scenes, military maneuvering, and ragtag camaraderie.
    In Alibaba’s early days, nearly two decades ago, many people adopted nicknames after characters from the books. Ma dubbed himself Feng Qingyang, after an elderly swordsman from the Jin Yong book The Smiling, Proud Wanderer. In a 2010 interview (link in Chinese), Ma said he admires Feng for two reasons—”First, he is a teacher,” Ma said (Ma himself taught English before starting his first company). Second, “His basic style of swordsmanship I think is especially good—a style of formlessness, formlessness itself as a style,” he added, referring to how a fighter with no recognizable style makes for an unpredictable opponent.

    The company’s values, meanwhile, are dubbed the “Six Vein Spirit Sword,” taken from the Jin Yong novel Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils. In the novel, the Six Vein Spirit Sword is not an actual sword, but a manual. At Alibaba, each “vein” represents a company value—customer first, teamwork, embrace change, integrity, passion and, commitment.
    Ma is known for his public showmanship, a rare quality among China’s business moguls. Gong Shou Dao is hardly the first time he has performed martial arts in public—below is a clip of Ma practicing Tai Chi at an event held by Chinese business magazine Yingcai.



    To this day, Ma remains committed to the world of Tai Chi and Chinese martial arts. Earlier this year he offered a six-class course for entrepreneurs to learn the practice. He also chimed in on an online debate about the merits of Tai Chi over mixed martial arts. And he continues to read martial arts novels to keep motivated.

    “Kung Fu, you start to think about it as something you cannot do. But if you have some luck, if you continue to practice, if you got a good master, if you got a good team, you can [become an] expert,” he told Charlie Rose at Davos. “When I’m busy, when I’m tired, I read Kung Fu books.”
    Ma’s dedication to practicing martial arts is somewhat unique in China. The art form and its history are ubiquitous in Chinese film, television, and video games. Yet when it comes to actually doing them, they’re mostly enjoyed by the elderly and a handful of hobbyists. Young people in China, meanwhile, have gravitated towards Brazilian jiu-jitsu, mixed-martial arts, and other combat sports with more international appeal (paywall).
    Ma wants to change this. And by releasing Gong Shou Dao on Singles Day, by now a major media event in China, he’s drawing attention to his passion project—revitalizing Chinese martial arts.

    Jack & Jet

    Ma has long maintained a friendship with Jet Li, Gong Shou Dao’s producer. The two of them met in 2007 (link in Chinese) when Li was invited to a meeting held by China Entrepreneur’s Club, a group of China’s wealthiest businessmen that includes Ma. The two later took a three-day trip to Hainan, an island province of China, to discuss charitable giving, philosophy, and Tai Chi—and their conversations persisted throughout the next decade.
    Their mutual love of martial arts led them to found Taijizen in 2011. An institution dedicated to popularizing Tai Chi in the modern era, Taijizen offers courses in various types of Tai Chi at schools across the country, as well as classes for calligraphy, tea, and traditional Chinese music. Overseas, viewers can watch training videos on the company’s YouTube page. A promotional video for Taijizen shows a montage of busy Chinese white-collar office workers, followed by Jack Ma singing the praises of his practice. “For the past 10 stressful years, I believe I’ve been able to be passionate about my work, to never be afraid of competition, and to constantly pursue innovation because of my practice of Tai Chi,” he says.
    Li and Ma’s film, which Ma financed personally, builds on Taijizen’s initiatives. Specifically, they intend to introduce a new style of martial arts they call GSD (gong shou dao, like the movie’s title, whose three Chinese characters mean “Kung Fu,” “defence,” and “principle”). Ultimately, they hope GSD will earn Chinese martial arts a place in the Olympics. Of the combat sports fully recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), three originate in Asia—judo and karate are from Japan, while taekwondo is from Korea. Muay Thai, which recently earned provisional recognition, originates from Thailand.
    In early 2017, Alibaba inked a deal with the IOC to power the organization’s cloud computing infrastructure during the games up until 2028. Li says he hopes the GSD style that appears in the film can become a much-needed standard for traditional Chinese martial arts—a sprawling category—that would help it win inclusion.
    With this in mind, Gong Shou Dao‘s release on Single’s Day is both ironic and fitting. Ma is using a day that has come to symbolize modern China’s crass commercialism and nascent global soft power as a vehicle to promote a traditional Chinese art. Tai Chi, after all, is all about balance.
    More on Gong Shou Dao & China's Single Day + Taijizen
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  3. #3
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    25$ b

    Alibaba's Singles' Day Sales Smash Record With $25 Billion Haul
    By Reuters November 11, 2017

    (SHANGHAI) – Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, said on Saturday its Singles’ Day sales extravaganza hit $25.4 billion, smashing its own record from last year and cementing it as the world’s biggest shopping event.

    Once a celebration for China’s lonely hearts, Singles’ Day has become an annual 24-hour buying frenzy that exceeds the combined sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States, and acts as a barometer for China’s consumers.

    As tills shut midnight on Saturday, Alibaba’s live sales ticker registered 168.3 billion yuan, up 39 percent from 120.7 billion yuan last year. The dollar figure was up more steeply due to the strength of the yuan against the greenback this year.

    The event began soon after a star-studded event in Shanghai late on Friday. As midnight hit, a deluge of pre-orders helped drive a billion dollars of sales on Alibaba’s platforms in the first two minutes and $10 billion in just over an hour.

    “In terms of scale it just dwarfs any other event out there,” said Ben Cavender, Shanghai-based principal at China Market Research Group.

    At just past the halfway mark, the headline gross merchandise volume swept past last year’s dollar total just shy of $18 billion. Shortly afterwards, sales surpassed the 2016 total in the local currency.

    The event gets shoppers around China scouting for bargains and loading up their online shopping carts, while delivery men – and robots – brace for an estimated 1.5 billion parcels expected over the next six days.

    “This is a big event for China, for the Chinese economy,” Joseph Tsai, Alibaba’s co-founder and vice chairman, said. “On Singles’ Day, shopping is a sport, it’s entertainment.”

    Tsai said rising disposable incomes of China’s “over 300 million middle-class consumers” was helping drive the company’s online sales – and would continue. “This powerful group is propelling the consumption of China,” he said.

    The final total – more than the GDP of Iceland or Cameroon – leaves other shopping days in the shade. Cyber Monday in the United States saw $3.45 billion in online sales last year.

    Investors closely watch the headline number, though some analysts say the way it is calculated is too opaque. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission launched a probe into Alibaba’s accounting practices in 2016, including into its Singles’ Day data. That investigation is as yet unresolved.

    Last year, the sales number rose by nearly a third at the eighth iteration of the event – though that was slower than the 60 percent increase logged in 2015.

    SLOWER GROWTH?

    At Alibaba’s Friday night gala, the company’s co-founder and chairman, Jack Ma, hosted guests including the actress Nicole Kidman, singer Pharrell Williams and Chinese musicians and film stars such as Zhang Ziyi and Fan Bingbing.

    The excitement around the shopping blitz, however, masks the challenges facing China’s online retailers such as Alibaba and JD.com Inc, which are having to spend more to compete for shoppers in a broader economy where growth is slowing.

    “A lot of the lower hanging fruit has been picked and there’s increased competition for a share of consumer spending,” said Matthew Crabbe, Asia Pacific research director at Mintel. The sale did though beat his forecast of 20 percent growth.

    Online retailers were being forced to push offline as well as overseas to attract new shoppers, and the overall online retail market was close to “saturation”, raising questions about whether current rapid growth could be sustained.

    “They’re having to spill over out of the purely online realm into the wider consumer market,” Crabbe said.

    This has sparked deals to buy bricks-and-mortar stores in China, and overseas tie-ups especially in Southeast Asia. Technology, too, has been key, with virtual reality dressing rooms and live fashion shows to attract shoppers.

    Alibaba also said it had turned 100,000 physical shops around China into “smart stores” for this year’s event. Goods perused by people at the stores, but then bought and paid for on Alibaba’s platforms, were added towards the sales total.

    China Market Research Group’s Cavender said brands were also increasingly making smaller price cuts to avoid “margins getting killed”, and were often asking for deposits in advance. In previous years, prices were often halved.

    Fu Wenyue, a 23-year-old dresser in Shanghai, said offers this year were smaller but more “personalized” as brands used big data to hone their targets. Fu spent 4,000 yuan on clothes, cosmetics and kitchen utensils in pre-event sales, and kept shopping on the day.

    “In actual fact, I think I spent even more than I did last year,” she said.
    GSD did okay then?
    Gene Ching
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  4. #4
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    +$19.1 for JD.com

    But still, JD.com's CEO isn't nearly as interesting as Jack Ma.

    Ali Baba’s Rival JD.com Broke $19.1 Billion In Sales Against Baba’s $25 Billion During Biggest Shopping Event In China


    By Usman Pirzada
    Nov 12

    Something incredible is happening on the Chinese mainland, the population has reached a tipping point where instead of being a burden, they are becoming super charged pistons of a bustling economy. In what is probably one of the biggest shopping sell out on planet Earth, Ali Baba recently reported sales up to $25 Billion in a single day. Now, its rival JD.com has come forward and claimed a close enough number: $19.1 Billion (unlike Ali Baba however, they started the event on Nov 1 and kept it open till Nov 11).

    November 11 sales in China drive record breaking revenues for Ali Baba and JD, likely to become a major focus for other retailers in coming years
    Ali Baba clocked in roughly a Billion dollars an hour in during the first golden hour showcasing not only the absolutely phenomenal economic power of this region, but of the company as well to handle this level of demand. It is even more interesting considering Ali Baba is a C2B2C company which basically acts as an intermediary, meaning this revenue was a byproduct of sales that the economic engine of China made itself.

    Rival JD.com wasn’t far behind either, reporting $19.1 Billion in sales over the course of 11 days. Singles’ Day an annual 24-hour buying frenzy that takes place in China on Nov. 11, has emerged as the world’s biggest shopping event. It exceeds the combined sales for Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States.

    Some noteworthy differences include the fact that unlike Ali Baba which basically conducted the traditional 24 hour experience for single day sales, JD.com started the event on Nov 1 and kept it open till Nov 11 to allow users more time to make purchase decisions and to get over any delivery bottlenecks.

    This is an understandable motivation considering they are nowhere near as well funded as Ali Baba, which is one of the world’s largest companies. Fresh foods and cosmetics were some of the online retailer’s biggest movers, with JD selling 500,000 Thailand black tiger shrimp and 55 million facial masks over the period. The company also said it sold 500 million yuan in air conditioners over a 30-minute period, and 100 million yuan in televisions over a one-minute period.

    It also showcases the incredibly opportunity that China represents for international retailers considering this event dwarfs the combine sales of Cyber Monday and Black Friday and JD.com has proven that it is very much possible for any sufficiently motivated company to go up against the fastest horse on the block: Ali Baba. I would not be surprised to see this event spark interest from American retailers and other companies that want to cash in on the golden goose that is the economy of China.
    Gene Ching
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  5. #5
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    Wonder how next year will go?

    Crazy statistics from China’s biggest shopping day of the year
    Jack Ma, Chairman of Alibaba Group, attends a show during Alibaba Group's 11.11 Singles' Day global shopping festival in Shanghai, China, November 10, 2017.


    Fired up. (Reuters/Aly Song)

    WRITTEN BY Josh Horwitz
    November 11, 2017

    Singles Day, Alibaba’s annual day-long online shopping bonanza in which the e-commerce giant offers heavy discounts on a wide range of products, just came to an end.
    On the evening prior, a number of international stars made appearances at a countdown gala Alibaba held in Shanghai. Football star Luís Figo got shots blocked onstage, Pharrell performed alongside Chinese singers Kris Wu, Karen Mok, and pianist Lang Lang, and Nicole Kidman introduced Jack Ma’s upcoming martial arts film Gong Shou Dao.
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    Maria Sharapova ✔@MariaSharapova
    An honor meeting Jack Ma at @AlibabaGroup #Double11 event today. Thank you for inviting me back to Shanghai! ����
    12:26 AM - Nov 10, 2017
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    At midnight local time on November 11, the shopping commenced. Unsurprisingly, sales figures were enormous.
    Citigroup predicted that Singles Day would drive $24 billion in purchases across Taobao, Tmall, and and other e-commerce properties. In fact, Alibaba exceeded expectations by a small margin. Over the 24-hour period, consumers bought 168.3 billion yuan ($25.4 billion) in goods from Alibaba.

    At one point over the 24-hour period Alipay, the payment service run by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial, was processing a record 256,000 payment transactions—more than double from last year’s peak

    Alibaba surpassed last year’s final purchase figure of $17.8 billlion at 1:09 PM local time, 13 hours after the festival began.

    China’s State Post Bureau estimates (link in Chinese) that over 1 billion packages will be delivered across China between Nov. 11 and Nov. 16, as consumers wait to receive their orders. That will amount to roughly the number of packages delivered across China throughout the entire year 2006.
    Alibaba kills it for Single Day.
    Gene Ching
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  6. #6
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    I never really cared for Pharrell

    You gotta follow the link to witness this. And then you'll hate me for exposing it to you. But there are worse things I could expose you too. Wait...that came out wrong. Just follow the link - it's safe for work but not safe for your respect of Pharrell, assuming you liked him in the first place.

    Watch Pharrell sing what is undoubtedly the most awkward song of his career in China


    IMAGE: DAVID BUCHAN/DDH/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

    BY YVETTE TAN
    10 HOURS AGO

    As they say, everyone has a price.

    Pharrell co-wrote and performed a new song in China to celebrate Singles' Day — the world's biggest shopping holiday.

    This year, Chinese shoppers spent $25 billion on Alibaba's Taobao site in just 24 hours, blowing events like Black Friday completely out of the water.

    Pharrell and his co-performer, Chinese-Canadian singer Kris Wu, were onstage for Alibaba's huge extravaganza celebrating the shopping day.

    There's no way any description could do this song justice, so you'll have to just listen for yourself:

    If your ears couldn't make it through that cringefest, we'll sum it up for you.

    The song, titled "Double Eleven Day" is a reference to the date that Singles' Day is celebrated on Nov. 11.

    The duo appear to be singing a song encouraging Chinese consumers to stay up and buy goods. Here's a choice line: "You know the world's watching wishing they could participate, there's gonna be a lot of people in the world staying up late, Double Eleven day. Hey China!"

    Pharrell and Wu also take turns to sporadically shout out "Zhongguo!", which means "China."

    They also repeat phrases like "shiyi, shiyi", which means "11, 11" in Chinese.
    "The song should be illegal."
    People on Facebook were pretty horrified by the duet.

    "This is the worst thing either of them have ever been involved with," said one user on Facebook in response to the video.

    "The song should be illegal," another added.

    However, people on Chinese social media website Weibo weren't nearly as harsh.

    "The melody's nice. Listening to it puts me in a good mood and [like I want] to spend money," said one user.


    "Listening to this song makes me feel...I can't describe it...it's like a very comforting feeling," says this Weibo user
    IMAGE: 全职妮儿/WEIBO
    "Such a nice duet! A commercial song done well," another added.

    Like Amazon in the U.S., Alibaba Taobao is undisputably the king of ecommerce in China, and therefore the biggest winner over Singles' Day, which it was hyping up for months.

    Pharrell wasn't the only big name on stage for Alibaba's celebration. Other Western celebs like Nicole Kidman, Maria Sharapova, and Jessie J were up on stage for the gala, too.

    Also, shoutout to Jessie J who very unironically sang Price Tag in celebration of the biggest spending event in the world.

    It's all about the money, money, money.
    Heck, just to be mischievous, I'm copying this post from the Single Day thread to the Fav Song one. I never post there and I just can't resist.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  7. #7
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    Single Day = 160,000 tonnes of packaging waste

    NOVEMBER 17, 2017 / 12:45 AM / 3 DAYS AGO
    China faces waste hangover after Singles' Day buying binge
    David Stanway
    6 MIN READ

    SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China’s Singles’ Day online discount sales bonanza on Saturday saw bargain-hungry buyers spend over $38 billion, flooding the postal and courier businesses with around 331 million packages - and leaving an estimated 160,000 tonnes of packaging waste.

    The annual Nov. 11 buying frenzy is a regular fillip for giant online retailers like Alibaba and JD.com, but the mountains of trash produced from just one day of conspicuous consumption have angered environmentalists.

    “Record-setting over-consumption means record-setting waste,” said Nie Li, toxics campaigner at Greenpeace, which estimates this year’s orders will produce more than 160,000 tonnes of packaging waste, including plastic, cardboard and tape.

    Total sales from Singles’ Day hit 254 billion yuan ($38.25 billion), with 1.38 billion orders placed, state media reported. Around a quarter of the total sales involved household electric devices or mobile phones.

    China’s State Post Bureau (SPB) said postal and courier companies are having to deal with at least 331 million packages, up 31.5 percent from last year.

    Greenpeace described the annual promotion as a “catastrophe for the environment” that not only creates waste, but leads to a surge in carbon emissions from manufacturing, packaging and shipping. In a report published last week, it estimated that total orders last year produced 52,400 tonnes of additional climate-warming carbon dioxide.

    E-commerce firms have drawn up measures aimed at solving the problem, and aim to replace cardboard boxes with reusable plastic ones that courier companies can share. They have also experimented with biodegradable delivery bags and tape-free boxes, but Nie said the efforts were still not enough.

    “China’s online retail giants have taken few real steps to reduce delivery packaging waste,” she said. “Ultimately, packaging that we throw out after one use is not a sustainable option.”

    A spokesman for JD.com said it is “continually improving ways to better reduce waste and pollution” and, among other measures, aims to raise the proportion of biodegradable materials in its packaging materials to 80 percent by 2020.

    Alibaba’s Cainiao logistics arm said in emailed comments that it had launched initiatives aimed at minimizing its environmental impact. “We are committed to work closely with different stakeholders to protect the environment and contribute to the sustainable development of the industry,” it said.

    MOUNTAINS OF WASTE

    China’s packaging waste problems are not confined to Singles’ Day.

    Official data shows China’s courier firms delivered around 20 billion orders in 2015, using 8.27 billion plastic bags, 9.92 billion packing boxes and enough sticky tape to go around the globe more than 400 times.

    Overall deliveries continue to surge, with the number of packages expected to hit 50 billion next year, up from 30 billion in 2016, according to forecasts by the SPB.

    But even that’s only a small part of China’s mounting waste problem, with large sections of the country’s soil and water contaminated by untreated industrial, rural and household trash.


    A laborer works at a paper products recycling station in Shanghai, China November 17, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song

    With China’s major cities producing around 2 billion tonnes of solid waste a year, they are already surrounded by circles of landfill known in Beijing as the “seventh ring road”.

    China has also struggled to finance the infrastructure required to handle surging volumes of discarded white goods, consumer electronics and batteries.

    Despite massive production volumes that have left the country dependent on imported raw materials, overall recycling rates in industries like steel, glass or textiles remain way behind their international counterparts.

    On top of that, China has only just started to impose restrictions on imported waste, which stood at 47 million tonnes in 2015.

    Recycling of foreign and domestic trash was traditionally handled by migrant workers, known as “scavengers”, who ripped apart discarded goods in back-street workshops.

    But rising economic prosperity means fewer people seek to make a living recycling waste, and tougher environmental regulations have forced small-scale recyclers to close.

    CONSUMER HABITS

    As well as ordinary couriers, China’s many food delivery services are under pressure to reduce waste. The Chongqing Green Volunteer League, a local environmental group, said earlier this year it was taking legal action against some operators for failing to handle the problem.

    Activists claimed just one online delivery platform used enough chopsticks every day to destroy the equivalent of 6,700 trees. They said the firms fail to inform customers or give them opportunities to choose greener options.

    Hu Zhengyang, a director at the China Packaging Association, told Reuters that his own industry body had appealed to delivery businesses to use fewer materials, but he said it ultimately “required more attention from government and ordinary people.”

    The SPB issued new guidelines to deal with the problem last year, urging delivery companies to eliminate substandard packaging products by the end of 2020, and to establish a proper recycling system.

    Delegates from central China’s Henan province, who raised the issue of packaging waste at this year’s parliament, said courier firms should be punished for violating rules, and incentives are needed to encourage the use of recyclable materials, which often cost more.

    “This is not going to be welcomed by courier companies or consumers, and it needs state support in areas like policy, financing and taxation,” they said.

    Ultimately, said Greenpeace’s Nie, it needs a shift in consumers’ mind-set.

    “If we really want to ‘green’ our buying habits, we need to consume less, re-use more and go back to repairing things that are broken,” she said.

    Reporting by David Stanway and the Shanghai newsroom; Additional reporting by Cate Cadell in BEIJING; Editing by Ian Geoghegan

    Single Day & China's Pollution Problem.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  8. #8
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    Sorry, I'm a little late on this one - I was on vacation

    No pic, just a vid behind the link

    MONEY & MARKETS
    How Alibaba turned a fake holiday into a $25 billion shopping extravaganza that's bigger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined
    NATHANIEL LEE, COREY PROTIN
    NOV 12, 2018, 6:00 AM

    Singles’ Day has become the largest shopping day in the entire world, thanks to Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba.

    Alibaba made $US25 billion in just 24 hours on November 11, 2017 – that’s more than US Black Friday and Cyber Monday online sales combined.

    Watch the video above to find out how this made up holiday was invented and exploded into a billion dollar shopping extravaganza that rivals Amazon’s ‘Prime Day.’

    The following is a transcript of the video.

    25 Billion Dollars. That’s how much Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, made in just 24 hours on November 11, 2017.

    That’s more than the total online US sales from both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Combined.

    It happened during an unofficial Chinese holiday called: Singles’ Day. But what is Alibaba, what is “Singles’ Day,” and how did they make so much money so quickly?

    Singles’ Day literally translates to “Bare Sticks Holiday.” A reference to the Chinese expression: “bare branches.” The expression refers to bachelors who aren’t adding “branches” to the family tree.

    Now, all of this is rooted in China’s one-child policy. Implemented between 1978 and 1980, it was intended to curb the country’s overpopulation problem. But the policy had unintended blowback.

    China now has a massive gender imbalance. By 2020, it’s projected that men will outnumber females by at least 30 million. Hence, “Singles’ Day.”

    From this national turmoil, the unofficial holiday was born at this university. It’s a day that was initially meant for single men to party with other single friends.

    Though, fast forward to 2009. Alibaba’s CEO, Daniel Zhang, sees a business opportunity to co-opt the unofficial holiday in an attempt to drum up more online sales.

    In China, spikes in shopping sales were common in late September, before China’s National Day. And again in the first two months of the year before the Spring Festival.

    Those two retail poles created a lull in late autumn, which Alibaba hoped to exploit with deep price cuts.

    And it worked. Seeing the potential of Alibaba’s move, most Chinese retailers jumped on board the next year.

    Now, Singles’ Day has become the biggest shopping day in the entire world. And it looks like it’s just going to get even bigger.
    THREADS:
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    Taytay for Singles' Day

    Taylor Swift to Perform in China at Alibaba's Annual Shopping Gala
    12:09 AM PDT 10/28/2019 by Patrick Brzeski


    Noam Galai/Getty Images
    Taylor Swift

    The e-commerce company's televised Singles' Day shopping extravaganza regularly draws A-list U.S. stars and generates bigger sales than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined (last year's gala topped $30 billion in sales in 24 hours).
    Taylor Swift is heading to China to perform at Alibaba Group's annual Singles' Day shopping extravaganza next month.

    The pop star will perform at Shanghai's Mercedes-Benz Arena on the evening of Nov. 10, along with a lineup of prominent stars and personalities from China and other parts of Asia. Among the acts slated to shill online shopping for Alibaba are Chinese singer-songwriter and actress G.E.M., local pop star Hua Chenyu, Japanese singer Kana Hanazawa and over a dozen others.

    More than a few U.S. sports and entertainment figures — including Scarlett Johansson, David Beckham, Mariah Carey and Daniel Craig — have flocked to the Alibaba-produced spectacle in years past to build their brands among Chinese consumers. But in recent months, U.S. celebrities' eagerness to please the Chinese government and the country's enormous consumer base have begun to be viewed with more skepticism by the U.S. public.

    After Beijing's recent heavy-handed attempts to squash free speech beyond its borders — such as the NBA's serious travails over a general manager's single tweet of support for Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement, and the erasure of South Park from the Chinese Internet because of a satirical episode — many U.S. politicians have questioned whether the Beijing regime's global political messaging should be so readily accommodated given its various ongoing human rights abuses.

    Singles' Day was invented in the 1990s as an alternate to Valentine's Day, since the date on which it is held, 11/11, appears graphically as the loneliest of calendar numbers. In 2009, Alibaba struck on the ingenious marketing ploy of encouraging Chinese consumers to purchase themselves a treat, or several, on Singles' Day (in that sense, it's arguably the most selfish of holidays, too). Alibaba's first Singles' Day promotion, designed to drum up sales for the company's upstart Tmall service (Amazon with Chinese characteristics), scored $7.7 million in revenue.

    Alibaba's Singles' Day Gala Show, held each year on Nov. 10 and broadcast live across China, has since grown into a hybrid spectacle combining elements of a pop concert with a variety show, the New Year's Eve countdown and the Home Shopping Network. The show features appearances, skits and performances involving local and international celebs — past participants have included Kobe Bryant, Kevin Spacey, Nicole Kidman and others — and builds up to midnight, when Alibaba launches cut-rate sales across its various e-commerce services, encouraging viewers at home to buy, buy, buy.

    In recent years, the shopping extravaganza has generated more revenue than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. Last year's event, resulted in $30 billion in sales over Alibaba's platforms in just 24 hours.
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    $38b

    China's mega shopping event, Singles Day, sold more in 24 hours than Amazon sells in two months
    Singles Day, China's mega shopping event, sold $38 billion of goods in 24 hours — with some help from Taylor Swift and Kim Kardashian West.


    Workers sorting packages at a logistics center in Lianyungang, east China's Jiangsu province, ahead of the annual "Singles Day" shopping festiva on Nov. 3, 2016.AFP - Getty Images file
    Nov. 11, 2019, 8:09 AM PST
    By Leticia Miranda

    Singles Day, the world’s biggest shopping event, just sold more in one day than Amazon sells in two months. China's shopping-meets-entertainment annual event, which was originally created to celebrate singlehood, hit a record $38 billion in sales on Monday, including $12 billion in just the first hour.

    The mammoth event, which happens every year on Nov. 11, is often compared to Black Friday. But it’s far bigger — not just in terms of sales, but in its extravagance, mingling fashion shows, concerts, games, brick-and-mortar stores, technology, and e-commerce.

    Singles Day started out in 1993 at Nanjing University, with students hosting parties to celebrate being single. In 2009, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba rebranded Singles Day as the 11/11 Global Shopping Festival, where consumers could find steep discounts on items across the site.

    It has since evolved into a colossal shopping spree that makes Black Friday weekend look like pennies in a jar.

    The day starts with a four-hour variety show called the Countdown Gala, a sort of Grammys-meets-Fashion Week, all live streamed through a platform that allows shoppers to buy directly from the video. Taylor Swift headlined the event this year, with Mariah Carey, Maria Sharapova, Miranda Kerr, and Kobe Bryant all making previous appearances. Not only can people watch the event and shop through the livestream, but they can play interactive games on their smartphones to win perks or boost points for celebrities while they participate in a challenge.

    American companies are taking an ever-increasing interest in the mega retail opportunity, as affluent Chinese consumers continue to grow their share of the global economy. Names such as Nike, Macy's, Unilever, and Tiffany have run their own Singles Day promotions. Estée Lauder pulled in $70 million in the first 25 minutes of its presale this year, Levi Strauss designed an exclusive line of apparel, and Kim Kardashian West hosted a livestream to sell her perfume.

    “China has been the biggest, hottest name in e-commerce for the last five years,” Lily Varón, an e-commerce analyst with Forrester Research, told NBC News. “Retailers started paying attention because there was a desire to diversify their revenue streams from domestic markets and demand from U.S. consumers.”

    To compare, last year's Black Friday and Cyber Monday drove a respective $6.22 billion and $7.8 billion in online sales by American consumers. Alibaba alone — not including retailers who do promotions on their own sites — drove $30.8 billion in gross merchandise volume in its 2018 Singles Day event.

    “It’s about the social experience and games and product — versus Black Friday, which is basically price driven,” said Sarah Willersdorf, partner and managing director with Boston Consulting Group.

    Months of trade tensions between the U.S. and China seem not to have affected Chinese consumers, despite dire forecasts of a boycott of American products as a result of the ongoing tit for tat over tariffs. Goods from the U.S. were the second largest block of sales, in terms of volume, CNBC reported.

    Leticia Miranda
    Leticia Miranda is a business reporter for NBC News.
    'makes Black Friday weekend look like pennies in a jar'
    ouch, man.
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  11. #11
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    Double Twelve 12/12

    China kicks off 12.12 shopping festival, the sequel to Singles’ Day
    The less-celebrated sibling to Alibaba’s Singles’ Day shopping spree promotes small vendors
    Abacus
    Published: 5:41pm, 12 Dec, 2019


    Taobao says that it gives 30 billion yuan (US$4.27 billion) in subsidies to small and medium-sized merchants on the platform every year. (Picture: JD.com, Taobao and Pinduoduo)

    Singles’ Day isn’t the only time of year China’s online shoppers indulge in big sales. In addition to 11.11, there’s also 12.12, another day ecommerce platforms in China try to attract buyers with discounts.
    But the focus of the 12.12 shopping festival, or Double 12, is different. It’s meant to support Taobao’s smaller vendors, which are usually “sidelined” during the Singles’ Day shopping spree partly because they lack the resources for large sales volumes and deep discounts, Alibaba said in 2013. JD.com and Pinduoduo also have their own 12.12 events.
    (Abacus is a unit of the South China Morning Post, which is owned by Alibaba.)
    But compared to Singles’ Day, 12.12 pulls in less revenue and the event draws less attention. While Alibaba boasts about its Singles’ Day sales figures every year, which hit a record high of 268.4 billion yuan (US$38.4 billion) this year, the company has never released sales numbers for 12.12.
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    11.11.2020

    Tomorrow is Singles Day.

    China's Singles Day: 3m people, 4,000 planes and cargo ships
    By Justin Harper
    Business reporter, BBC News

    Published13 hours ago
    GETTY IMAGES

    Three million workers, helped by 4,000 planes and ships, are getting ready for the world's biggest online sale - with "revenge spending" tipped to be one of this year's biggest trends.

    China's Singles Day on 11 November is the world's biggest 24-hour online shopping event, with 1.9bn products ordered and delivered last year.

    But it is thought pent-up demand from the pandemic will break new records.

    Robot cleaners, vacuums and toolboxes are all expected to be popular.

    However, luxury brands are also hoping to get a boost, as millions of Chinese who have been unable to travel overseas on shopping trips go online for what experts are dubbing "revenge spending".

    "We anticipate ongoing international restrictions will cause a meaningful shift in Chinese consumers buying luxury online," said Michael Norris, at market research firm Agency China, an e-commerce consultancy based in Shanghai.

    "Luxury brands have also risen to the occasion, with an estimated doubling in the number of luxury brands participating in Singles Day."

    Singles Day in China - also known as 11.11 or Double 11 - was originally created by online retailer Alibaba to celebrate the unattached, an antithesis to the romantically-involved on Valentine's Day.

    Alibaba's online shopping rival JD.com runs a similar event but Alibaba's Singles Day is bigger in terms of goods sold and revenue.

    Last year, the gross merchandise value reached more than 210bn yuan (£23bn, US$31bn), double that of Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined, with sales hitting $1bn in a little over one minute of trading.

    This year, Singles Day kicked off early with an online selling spree between 1 - 3 November to cater to the growing demand from Chinese consumers.

    Wednesday will feature more than 350,000 local and international brands and even includes cars and houses for sale.

    A logistical feat

    Cainiao, the logistics arm of Alibaba, said it is using more than 3,000 chartered flights and long-haul cargo ships to bring goods into China.

    Meanwhile, a total of three million people across Cainiao and its partners will be involved in the logistics globally at warehouses and ports.

    It will also be using more than 10,000 mobile lockers to allow customers to pick-up parcels without human contact.

    CAINIAO
    Cainiao also plans to operate more than 700 chartered flights to deliver parcels outside China.

    "The use of cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, predictive algorithms and big data analytics will empower merchants with demand forecast data and allow them to accurately pre-stock their goods in the right quantity and location," said James Zhao, general manager of global supply chain at Cainiao.

    Pandemic products

    Now in its twelfth year, health products such as vitamins and air purifiers are expected to be among the best-selling products on Singles Day, given the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Last year, the most popular imported goods included pet food, healthcare and beauty products, with a 3,000% spike in beauty products for men.

    CAINIAO
    Cainiao will use more than 10,000 mobile lockers to allow customers to pick-up parcels.

    "I expect beauty product sales to soar with foreign brands like L'Oreal doing very well. Sports apparel and vitamins will do well and consumers are placing increased importance on health," said Shaun Rein, founder of China Market Research Group.

    "Companies like Vinda which sells toilet paper will do well as will soap companies like Unilever as consumer stock up in bulk on must-have items," he added.

    But for those looking to spend a little more, there are also about 800,000 properties on offer at a discount along with more than 200,000 cars.
    Gene Ching
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    Let's talk about China's economy and Covid...

    Singles Day: Alibaba sales blitz rakes in $75 billion as Chinese shake off Covid-19
    2020 Updated
    By Sherisse Pham, CNN Business

    Updated 9:31 PM ET, Wed November 11, 2020
    Chinese government halts Ant Group's giant IPO

    Chinese government halts Ant Group's giant IPO 02:35
    Hong Kong (CNN Business)China's annual Singles Day online shopping bonanza regularly hauls in tens of billions of dollars for Alibaba and other e-commerce and retail companies in China. This year, it's taking on new meaning as a showcase for the country's success in battling the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Alibaba (BABA) said on Thursday that the annual sales frenzy broke records again, raking in 498.2 billion yuan (roughly $75 billion). The total includes an earlier three-day period that was added to boost post-pandemic sales.
    Compared to the same timeframe as last year, this year's haul represents an increase of 26%, the company said.
    "China's economy has seen a strong recovery and Chinese consumers' purchase behaviors have already returned to pre-pandemic levels, if not higher," according to Xiaofeng Wang, analyst with market research firm Forrester..
    China reported positive economic growth for the second quarter in a row last month, underlining how quickly the world's second-largest economy has recovered from the pandemic.
    For brands and retailers scrambling to recover from months of shuttered shops and consumers hunkered down indoors, the lucrative Chinese shopper is a much-needed bright spot. Many companies "are doubling down" on their Singles Day sales events, according to Wang.
    A survey from market research firm Oliver Wyman found that 86% of Chinese consumers are willing to spend the same as or more than what they did during last year's Singles Day.
    Chinese shoppers "continue to spend like crazy," said Oliver Wyman partner Jacques Penhirin, who led the survey.
    The remaining 14% of survey respondents said they will spend less on Singles Day, because the pandemic had brought too much uncertainty for them.
    Penhirin predicted the event would be massive for participating brands and retailers, because shoppers are using it as an opportunity to treat themselves.
    It's been a strange year for Chinese consumers. They saved money during an unpredecented lockdown earlier this year, but they aren't traveling, said Penhirin.
    So shoppers are approaching Singles Day with an indulgent mindset. For example, a shopper who usually buys Maybelline makeup, he said, might instead spend a bit more to buy stuff from Yves Saint Laurent on sale.
    "Now it's time to be indulgent," Penhirin said.

    Glitzy stars and blockbuster growth
    Singles Day regularly racks up bigger sales than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.
    The event — also known as Double 11 — is pegged to China's informal, anti-Valentine's Day holiday that celebrates people who aren't in relationships. It takes place on November 11, a date that was chosen because it is written as four ones, or singles.
    Alibaba started offering Singles Day discounts in 2009 and has since turned the event into a bonanza of online shopping.
    Other Chinese e-commerce platforms like JD.com (JD), Pinduoduo (PDD) and Red, as well as regular brick-and-mortar stores also take part. Rival JD.com's event lasts almost two weeks — longer than Alibaba's. JD said on Thursday that it also set a new sales record of 271.5 billion yuan ($41 billion) during the event, growing 33% compared to last year.
    The event has also gained traction outside China: Alibaba's Southeast Asia subsidiary Lazada offers Double 11 discounts in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.

    In China, Alibaba once again held a glitzy live concert counting down the hours until the main sales day starts. Celebrities often make appearances at the so-called 11.11 Gala, usually to hawk their own brands and products.
    Last year's headline performer was singer Taylor Swift. This year, it's Katy Perry, who was virtually piped into a Shanghai arena late Tuesday evening.
    This year, the company added an extra three days of sales — which took place from November 1 through 3 — because of the pandemic, according to Alicia Yap, managing director at Citigroup Global Markets Asia.
    A few more days of huge discounts help "brands or merchants recoup lost sales during the lockdown and [helps] global brands gain access to the stronger demand from Chinese consumers," Yap wrote in a note last week.

    Trends for this unprecedented year
    Livestreaming is expected to be a "key growth driver," for this year's Double 11, said Wang, of Forrester.
    Livestreaming had been around in China for years, but really took off during lockdown.
    It's like the Shopping Channel or QVC on steroids: Shoppers tune in to watch influencers peddling everything from cars to mangoes, and can score big discounts during the live streams.
    Wang also expects luxury goods will sell really well, because Chinese usually buy them while traveling overseas.
    "When pandemic makes international travel impossible, consumers will pivot these purchases domestically and particularly online," she said. "That's also why it's the first year that luxury brands are heavily involved in Singles Day."
    Oliver Wyman found that while foreign brands continue to dominate popular Singles Day categories such as cosmetics and infant formula, a growing number of Chinese shoppers will buy local brands of products like electronics and smartphones this year.
    "It's not patriotism ... it's just the technology, design and quality are better, therefore there is just more confidence" in Chinese brands, Penhirin said.
    Another reason Chinese are buying local is because some remain cost conscious post-pandemic, according to analysts at consultancy Bain & Company.
    Shoppers, for example, may view Apple's (AAPL) iPhone as too expensive, and instead buy slightly cheaper devices from Huawei or Xiaomi that they believe are comparable in design and technology.

    Alibaba's Jack Ma out of favor with Beijing
    There was an added shadow over the event for Alibaba and its billionaire founder Jack Ma. Last week, Chinese regulators slammed the brakes on the highly anticipated IPO of Ant Group, Alibaba's financial affiliate, at the eleventh hour. Regulators cited "major issues" that might cause Ant "not to meet the listing conditions or disclosure requirements."
    Ma publicly criticized Chinese regulators for stifling innovation, which industry watchers noted may have also played a role in the IPO getting pulled.
    Even though many other online platforms and stores take part in Singles Day, it is still closely tied to Alibaba. And recent criticism of the annual event by government groups and state media could signal that Ma is still out of favor with Beijing.
    The Chinese government has said it is eager to stimulate domestic consumption to spur the country's economic growth. And yet the China Consumers Association, a state-backed national consumer rights group, urged for "rational consumption" during the upcoming Double 11 shopping season, according to statements it issued last week.
    State-run news network CCTV called for "fewer tricks" by shopping platforms during the Singles Day shopping season, saying they should not cheat consumers.
    But a spat between a tech billionaire and Beijing regulators likely won't affect how Chinese consumers shop, according to Penhirin of Oliver Wyman.
    "Consumers don't care, honestly," he said, adding that while financial markets might be paying attention to the drama, consumers will think that "as long as I get a good deal, it's none of my business."

    -- Laura He contributed to this report.
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