Jack Ma and the gang have broken the ecommerce ceiling yet again, netting over $25B on “Singles’ Day” — nearly twice the $12.8B US sales between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday last year.
Alibaba’s sales account for the majority of the $38B Singles’ sales brought in across all ecommerce platforms and beats their record-breaking 2016 Singles’ Day sales by about 40%.
What’s Singles’ Day you ask?
Basically the opposite of Valentine’s day, with all the same consumerism. Celebrated in China every year on November 11th, Singles’ Day started in the 1990s as an ironic nod to single people in China (the two “ones” in “11” represent lonely singles).
And, it was begging to be monetized. So, in 2009 Alibaba co-opted it as an excuse for people to buy gifts for themselves, and in the past decade it’s become the country’s Black Friday — but way, way bigger.
Gotta give it to him: Jack Ma’s a helluva showman
Ma’s been on his typical PR circuit hyping up the big event, but this year he really outdid himself: he’s starring in a kung fu movie produced by Jet Li, and his Singles’ Day gala hosted A-listers like Pharrell.
Oh, and back in September, he donned a golden mask and performed a 6 minute choreographed dance to a mashup of Michael Jackson’s greatest hits in front of his entire company.
Seriously, take a minute to watch this. Marvel at the showmanship. The commitment. The pageantry. This guy’s earned every yuan.
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