How Alibaba turned an obscure, made-up Chinese holiday into a $14.3 billion shopping extravaganza that's bigger than Black Friday

Alibaba turned Single’s Day, the Chinese holiday for the single-set, into a huge economic opportunity through a savvy marketing blitz.

The company raked in $5 billion during the first 90 minutes of the sale, totaling $14.3 billion in just 24 hours largely through its online shopping platforms, Taobao.com and Tmall.com.

Students at Nanjing University first celebrated Single’s Day in 1993 as an appreciation of, you guessed it — being single. They picked November 11 (11/11) as an ode...

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