Singles' Day (11.11)

Something is lost when a ‘festival’ becomes just a shopping frenzy

    PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 November, 2018, 7:00pm
    UPDATED : Thursday, 15 November, 2018, 7:00pm

    I am writing in response to the euphoria over the “Double 11” shopping festival (“Singles’ Day is ‘Christmas Day, Boxing Day and Black Friday all wrapped into one’”, November 10). How the meaning of “festival” has changed in our times.

    Traditionally, a festival is a celebration of a religious or cultural event. However, since the idea of consumerism took hold, the meaning of “festival” has also been commercially packaged. Merchants create “festivals” all the time to encourage shopping but, in so doing, are changing the significance of the word.

    I lament that the nature of many things has changed, and the true meaning of festivals is being lost. Although such changes are inevitable, or they may actually bring benefits for us, we also risk forgetting the significance of some traditional festivals or memorial days. I wonder just how many of us remembered that Remembrance Day, which marks the end of the first world war, also fell on November 11.

    Winnie Wu, Kwai Chung

    Online shopping is a win-win all around

    I refer to your article, “Frenzied Singles’ Day eases spending fears” (November 12). Electronic gadgets are a necessity of modern life, so it is no wonder that e-commerce has ballooned around the world, especially in China. The smashing sales recorded on China’s Singles’ Day are just a reflection of that.

    This year’s 24-hour shopping festival saw orders involving a record gross merchandise value of 213.5 billion yuan (US$30.8 billion). It was not just an Alibaba event, and other brands, retailers and e-commerce platforms also benefited from Singles’ Day. E-commerce giant reported record sales of over 100 billion yuan from November 1 to November 11.

    Such a resounding response surely shows how people have grown to trust the quality of goods offered on online portals. There used to be reports of some online merchants selling low-quality or fake products, which put off many consumers. But the record sales for Singles’ Day are proof of growing consumer confidence.

    I believe that the popularity of such events results from a combination of good service and convenience enabled by technology. People get good-quality products at huge discounts, while shopping from the comfort of their homes. Meanwhile, merchants can rack up huge sales within a short time. It’s a win-win that reflects changing consumer habits.

    Cheese So, Kwai Chung