Nov. 11 Online Shopping Carnival Turns the World Crazy!
Welcome to "Shopping Carnival" – an annual shopping bonanza staged every November 11, which has now been running in China for the past few years.
Like Black Friday in the U.S., or Boxing Day in Commonwealth countries, it's a time of nationwide bargain-hunting extravaganza, but with one important difference: the shopping spree is happening online!
One of the largest e-commerce hubs hosting Shopping Carnival is Tmall. In just one day in 2016, Tmall notched up a sales record of 120.7 billion Chinese Yuan. That's more than 18 billion U.S. dollars!
Now, making online purchases is one thing, but getting physical goods to customers is quite another! With over 350 million delivery orders logged for that one day, you might expect some bottlenecks in the delivery pipeline.
But think again!
The very first customer to receive his order on "11.11" did so only 13 minutes after placing it! Chinese delivery companies are highly-efficient, since it takes only two to three days to deliver an item from Guangzhou to Beijing – roughly the distance from Los Angeles to Seattle. Delivery costs rarely exceed a couple of bucks in China and often there's no charge at all.
双十一当天第一个收到包裹的用户从下单到收货只用了13分钟！中国的快递公司效率非常高，一件从广州到北京的快件从下单到拿到手只需要两到三天 —— 这差不多相当于从洛杉矶到西雅图的距离。而且快递费超便宜，大多都不过几美金，甚至常常免运费。
Chinese delivery is renowned for its efficiency and low costs, supported by a state-of-the-art logistics network . And foreign buddies are impressed.
As for the magical speed of China's food deliveries, The Wall Street Journal has even exclaimed that “even an Olympic sprinter wouldn’t be as fast as Chinese food deliveries!”
Just click on your smart phone and order food delivery from any nearby restaurants. Hot and tasty, you will have it within half an hour and pay a mere dollar for the privilege! And that one-dollar delivery charge applies equally to on-line grocery shopping, medicines and snacks.
But China's online-shopping platforms are not limited to its home soil. In 2016, more than 200 countries and regions participated in the 11.11 Shopping-Carnival event.
And the mobile-payment structures have been embraced outside China's borders too. Alipay is the world leader, with platforms in 27 countries and regions, supporting direct payment in more than 10 currencies.
Meanwhile, China's two main bike-share companies, ofo and mobike, are also expanding overseas.
Ofo is a bike-sharing scheme that does away with cumbersome requirements imposed on users in other countries, such as having to link a credit card or drop a bike off in one specified location. Instead, the cities are dotted with parking spots – alongside subway stations, malls, restaurants, residential neighborhoods, and company offices. You can unlock and ride a bike by simply scanning the QR code with your smart phone and return it wherever you are convenient. And the cost is a mere 10 cents per hour!
Meanwhile, China's innovations at home are transforming the way business gets done elsewhere! In the future, when the global mobile payment era arrives, will people suddenly discover that those most apps making their life more convenient are from China?"