Why Singles' Day in China Is Bigger Than Cyber Monday

Jack Ma, chairman and CEO of Alibaba speaks in front of a big screen at Alibaba's headquarters in Hangzhou on Nov. 11, 2014.

Photographer: ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images

Singles' Day, a twist on Valentine's Day, started in China in the 1990s as an obscure holiday but has snowballed into a consumer phenomenon thanks largely to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., founded by Jack Ma and which runs China's largest online marketplace.

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