Chinese company offers lifetime’s supply of liquor for just US$1,600 to wash away Singles’ Day blues with booze

Offer coincides with world’s biggest retail event, but fans of the spirit baijiu will need to move fast because the offer is limited to the first 33 online customers

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 November, 2017, 4:21pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 08 November, 2017, 6:27pm

It may be the logical conclusion of a shopping event originally designed to cheer up lovelorn singles: the chance to secure a lifetime’s supply of liquor with which to drown their sorrows.

This year for Singles’ Day, the world’s biggest retail event, one Chinese store is reported to be offering just that for a one-off payment of 11,111 yuan (US $1,674).

Perhaps anticipating the likely demand for such a service, Jiang Xiaobai, a Chongqing-based online retailer, is limiting the offer to just 33 tickets on a first-come, first-served basis.

The online sale will begin at midnight on November 11 – hence the price tag – which was first branded as Singles’ Day in 2009.

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Singles’ Day – also known as Double 11 – was a marketing idea pioneered by the online retailer Alibaba, the owner of the South China Morning Post, with the aim of creating a shopping festival in the period between National Day at the start of October and New Year’s Eve.

The original pitch – that it offered discounts to cheer up lovelorn singles – made it popular with university students. But the lure of the discounts and the boom in online shopping soon gave it a much broader appeal and it is now seen mainly as a shopping event.

Last year the value of transactions topped US$17.8 billion – surpassing its nearest US equivalent Black Friday, which happens later this month on the day after Thanksgiving.

A wide variety of Chinese retailers now offer promotions to mark the event, and the lifetime’s supply of drink is just one of the more eye-catching offers.

Under the terms of the deal, Jiang Xiaobai will send subscribers a dozen bottles of baijiu, a fiery Chinese spirit, every month until their death, according to Beijing Youth Daily. If they die within five years of signing up family members can inherit the contract.

The bottles of the spirit normally sell individually for 196 yuan, and after five years the total value of the shipments will pass the 11,111 yuan mark. After that, the drinkers will be able to toast a profit.

Chang Sha, a lawyer based in Beijing, said the deal was legal, the report said. But she warned that it could be cancelled if the company went bankrupt, and raised the obvious long-term implications of the deal for the firm’s finances.

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The online store said it was the second time it had provided such an offer.

Over the rest of the year it also offers the chance to buy a lifetime’s supply of baijiu for nine times the price of the special offer.

The shop said it had sold 19 such packages in the past. It was not clear how many were sold on Singles’ Day.

“I have bought a lifetime guarantee,” one customer said in the comment area of the retailer’s website. “Hope they will keep the promise.”