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Maggie Zhou reflects on Alibaba’s role in the rise of 11.11

Singles’ Day on November 11 is the biggest shopping event in the world. However, this wasn’t always the case.  Started by university students in China in the 1990s, Singles’ Day (or 11.11 as it is sometimes called) was originally conceived as an anti-Valentine’s Day for single people to buy gifts for themselves and others. But as more retailers started offering Singles’ Day discounts and special products, it gradually became the global bonanza for bargain hunters that it is today.