For all the hype around Black Friday, there’s a sale that’s even larger that few South Africans have heard about. With sales last year double that of the US’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined, China’s Singles’ Day, on November 11, is the world’s largest e-commerce event. Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma made the day what it is, starting off in 2009 with an event akin to Amazon’s Prime Day. Now it’s bigger, much bigger. Sales last year started with a massive $1bn in the first two minutes, culminating in $17.8bn spent on the day. Can SA e-tailers use Singles’ Day to spark a local shopping spree, or perhaps initiate our own day, similar to this ? Getting a head start Singles’ Day is not well-known locally. It seemed to have started at a Chinese university as a day celebrating those who are single, with the date (11/11) containing many “singles”. South Africans who shop on e-commerce platform AliExpress, owned by Alibaba, might have noticed Singles’ Day being heavily promoted through th...

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