It's called Singles Day, when single people in China celebrate being single. Created by Chinese university students as sort of an anti-Valentine's day, sales on Singles Day tripled the volume of Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.
Alibaba reported that at one point shoppers spent $1 billion in just 2 minutes.
November 11 is Singles day because the numerical date is represented as 11/11.
Alibaba has used the event to lure international companies onto its platforms. More than 40% of participating brands on Singles Day came from outside China. The massive shopping holiday is also spreading to other Asian countries.
Significantly, Alibaba is using the holiday to help leverage its significant investment in brick-and-mortar stores, promoting Singles Day in the stores as well as online.
The success of this online/offline partnership might presage looming battle between Amazon/Whole Foods and Walmart over grocery delivery.