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Alibaba's Singles Day Extravaganza Has a Boozy Twist This Year

Apple iOS applications for Taobao, AliExpress, Taobao, Alipay, and AliCloud. Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Alibaba’s ginormous “Singles Day” promotion—a sort of Chinese analog to Amazon’s Prime Day—will this year have a rather unusual twist.

According to a report in The Guardian, the e-commerce giant will on Saturday allow 33 customers to buy a lifetime supply of alcohol for just 11,111 yuan ($1,673)—specifically, 12 bottles each month of a very strong grain-based liquor called baijiu.

If the customer somehow dies within five years of the purchase, then a family member gets to inherit the deal. It may be worth noting that cirrhosis of the liver usually takes at least a decade to develop.

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Alibaba normally charges 99,999 yuan for its lifetime torrent of booze. The promotional price is a reference to the date of the Singles Day sale.

Singles Day, as the name suggests, is a celebration of the unattached life. A kind of anti-Valentine’s Day, it sprung up in the mid-1990s on university campuses in China, with the 11/11 date playing on the solitary implications of the number 1.

It’s also become a huge revenue mill for Alibaba, which claims to have originally selected the date for its big one-day sale by coincidence.

Alibaba grossed $17.8 billion in Singles Day sales last year. As many as 60,000 global brands are expected to participate in this year’s solitude-fest.

Amazon’s Prime Day only netted somewhere between $1 billion and $2.2 billion this year, CNBC noted—although, to be fair, Amazon only launched its 24-hour sale a couple years ago, while Alibaba has been running Singles Day sales for eight years now. For extra context, Singles Day sees more transactions than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

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