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This year's China's Singles Day shopping orgy broke all kinds of selling records, just as predicted. 14 hours into the sale period, Amazon-like shopping giant Alibaba had raked in over $5.9 billion according to WWD. To put that into perspective: Alibaba's Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday sales combined topped out at $5.29 billion last year.
According to the Financial Times, one of the biggest sale items wasn't a plasma screen TV or a recently legalized iPhone 6, but virtual love via avatar boyfriends and girlfriends. China's 250 million single adults have upped the demand on Her-esque virtual lovers, where fees to rent an avatar boyfriend or girlfriend can cost as low as 50 cents per hour. The FT reports that Chinese shopping site Taobao, one of the most popular sites to find these virtual lovers, lists around 5,000 online avatars for hire. Once bought, the avatars will send WeChat messages and generally act like a significant other online for as long as the rent period lasts.
· Singles' Day frenzy of love and dollars [Financial Times]
· Gilt Wants In on China's 'Orgy of Online Shopping,' Singles Day [Racked]
· iPhone 6s Are Being Smuggled Into China Via Twinkie Boxes [Racked]