Electronics companies are gearing up for one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Wednesday, November 11 is Singles’ Day in China. The holiday, which started in the 1990s as an excuse for singles to treat themselves–has turned into one of China’s, and thus the world’s, top shopping days thanks to heavy promotion by Alibaba, the e-commerce giant responsible for pulling in 75% of sales during that day last year.
The holiday has quickly turned into a homegrown Chinese answer to Black Friday. In 2014, shoppers spent $2.6 billion on Cyber Monday and $1.5 billion on Black Friday, according to data from comScore, Adobe, and Alibaba. According to a Nielsen survey of more than 1,000 Chinese Internet users, the average expected spend for the holiday is $277.76 per person; last year, Alibaba reported $9.3 billion in sales during Singles’ Day, across all its platforms. This year, industry watchers are keeping a close eye on the proceedings to see if China’s sluggish growth impacts the consumer spendathon.
Alibaba will be celebrating Singles’ Day by ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on November 11. The holiday is quickly expanding beyond China. It’s no coincidence pre-orders for the iPad Pro are beginning on November 11, as well.