History and context of the Singles’ Day

On November 11, the Chinese celebrate mass consumption. Indeed, “11.11” is the “China’s Singles’ Day”. On this day, consumption is in full swing and purchases are at an all-time high. The event is even more important than Black Friday or Valentine’s Day.

To understand this phenomenon, we have to look at its origin. The Singles’ Festival was originally called 光棍节(guānggùn Jié), which means “festival of bare branches” or “festival of single branches”. The festival is now known as 双十一 (shuāng shíyī), which means “double 11”. This day was created in the 1990s by Chinese students who saw the date as symbolic. Indeed, in China the number 1 represents individuality. Thus, Singles’ Day became an occasion to celebrate celibacy or to declare one’s love. Alibaba then turned this holiday into a kind of Chinese black Friday.

As with Valentine’s Day, brands have seized on this holiday to offer discounts and turn it into a day of consumption. Therefore, it generates about $140 billion in a single day, which reveals its importance for brands. In addition, many Chinese people wait for this day to shop online and on platforms such as Alibaba and Aliexpress which offer special promotions.

Ali express

Photo: Single Day promotion on AliExpress France, in 2022.


Chinese, international and particularly French brands must therefore seize this opportunity. As a matter of fact, the luxury sector is also particularly concerned, as China represents one-third of the world’s luxury revenues, a figure that is constantly growing and should reach 48% by 2025.

Moreover, French products and brands are very popular in China.

Finally, brands must focus on digital marketing and work on their reputation. Indeed, in the country, more than one out of two purchases is made via the Internet.

Alibaba is now looking to export this event abroad, particularly to Russia and Brazil, and more than 220 countries now have access to the promotions.


Le Belzic, S. 2022. Chine : la fête des célibataires, une opération commerciale très lucrative. https://www.europe1.fr/international/chine-la-fete-des-celibataires-une-operation-commerciale-tres-lucrative-4146903Accessed on 10 December 2022.

Colliot, M. 2022. La Fête des Célibataires en Chine 11/11  Acheter, Acheter, Acheter. https://ltl-chinois.fr/fete-des-celibataires/ Accessed on 10 December 2022.