HONG KONG, Nov 9 – Get ready, set, shop! Chinese consumers are gearing up for the country’s biggest online shopping bonanza of the year. The holiday — set for Tuesday — is called “Singles Day,” and started as a way to celebrate single people. It’s now morphed into a multi-billion dollar e-shopping frenzy that attracts buyers both single and paired.

Last year, total online sales in China hit $8 billion on Singles Day, more than double the combined $3 billion sold in the U.S. for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, according to the Boston Consulting Group. The stage is set for another sales record this year.  The idea of “Singles Day” began as a cheeky antidote to Valentine’s Day, and falls on Nov. 11, or 11/11, which represents four single people. On the day, it’s common to exchange gifts and eat fried dough strips — kind of like a churro — because they look like the number “1.”

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