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Why is shopping so difficult on Singles Day?

By Wang Jingwen | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-11-09 07:22

Before you start reading the story, we kindly remind you that you will have a chance to win gifts if you join our discussions about the Singles Day shopping event. 文末有惊喜,不容错过!

To take the mathematics challenges or to miss a billion, Chinese internet users are arming themselves to the teeth to join the price battle on the upcoming e-commerce sales day — Nov 11, also known as Singles Day.

The biggest Chinese shopping event draws people of all ages, and the promotions expand from Taobao and Tmall, Alibaba Group Holding's main shopping platforms, to other e-commerce giants such as JD, Suning and Amazon.

Overwhelmed by the ecstasy of shopping, people now barely mention the day originated from a civil celebration of Singles Day (the date 11.11 resembles four "bare sticks", the Chinese expression for the unattached). Alibaba first turned it into an online shopping stunt in 2009, encouraging shoppers to pamper themselves. However, in recent years people started to find that, compared to being single, it's not necessarily easier to shop on this day.

Have you got the game rules?

The Singles Day calendar of daily activities to win discounts released by Tmall.

It takes time to win discounts and count prices. If you want to buy a long-awaited overcoat on Tmall, you must be prepared for starting on Oct 20, when the Singles Day event kicked off its presales this year. Pay the deposit, which will "swell" on Nov 11 -- for example, a 50 yuan ($7.21) deposit equals 100 yuan when you pay the full price later. Get coupons in Tmall shops. Win red envelopes through in-app games, battles and regular red envelope rains. And don't forget to redeem some subsidies by Tmall credits, which allow you to deduct 50 yuan for every 400 yuan you spend. Now you can safely snap up that dream coat in the first seconds of Nov 11.

"I definitely need to go back to primary school to review math and reading for Singles Day."

"Can't understand the rules. I quit."

Tmall, receiving complaints about the already "simplified" routines, launched games for teams to work together.

Two teams battle each other to win "energy".

Shoppers can form their own teams and compete with others by asking friends to add "likes" to their teams. Team with more "likes" wins the "energy" -- 100 "energy" points can be redeemed for 1 yuan out of 1 billion yuan in total for the event.

The team competition invitation codes certainly stirred up social networks for days, but gradually the enthusiasm was swept away by asking for a like every day. And once stopped, the "energy" soon drops back to 0, automatically losing the competition.

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