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China’s Singles Day is right around the corner, and the world is waiting to witness the setting of yet another online sales record.

Singles Day (or “Double 11” as it’s known in Chinese, shorthand for the date on which the event falls, November 11) is the world’s largest one-day online shopping event.

Singles Day originated several years ago as a chance for lonely college students to embrace their single status and use that as an excuse to engage in a little “shopping therapy.” In 2009, online stores caught onto the trend and started to offer products at steep discounts. A few years later, e-commerce giant Alibaba formally registered “11/11” as a trademark.

Last year,   online sales on Singles Day exceeded a stunning RMB 90 billion (US$13.5 billion) within just 24 hours. By comparison, “Cyber Monday” in the US didn’t even reach RMB 20 billion (US$3 billion) in sales.

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