Xiaomi, China’s second-largest mobile vendor, recently announced that it made $188 million in just one day. Xiaomi accomplished this feat on a day known as Singles’ Day, a China-observed holiday. Held on November 11 (that’s 11/11, the first hint about why it’s called Singles Day) was originally started in 1993 at Nanjing University and was celebrated only by male bachelors, hence the original name “Bachelors’ Day.”
These bachelors would party with other bachelors and, upon graduation, would carry that tradition into other areas of society. Eventually, however, single young men and women began celebrating Singles’ Day, as well, treating the day as an opportunity to kick off karaoke parties and use those parties as a meet-and-greet scenario.
In the Chinese business world, however, Singles’ Day is used as a way to spur sales by slashing prices, in the same vein as Black Friday in the United States, which is where Xiaomi comes in. Already known for offering products at relatively low prices, Xiaomi strategically used the days leading up to Singles’ Day, starting from November 1, to deliver daily deals, ultimately culminating into several big sales on the day itself.
These deals included price cuts on its accessories, smartphones, and other mobile devices, with Xiaomi even teasing a new smartphone. The strategy worked, with Xiaomi making $16 million in sales only 12 minutes after the clock struck midnight. In 25 minutes, Xiaomi reached $31 million in sales, with $63 million in sales reached only an hour and 28 minutes after midnight. When all was said and done, Xiaomi made a whopping $188 million in sales.
According to Xiaomi, the $125 Redmi Note 2 was the company’s best-selling smartphone, while the year-and-a-half-old Mi Pad was its best-selling tablet. Finally, the Mi Band Pulse was Xiaomi’s best-selling smart device, unsurprising given its $16 price tag.
It’s all very good, but in 2014, Xiaomi announced it sold 1.1 million phones on November 11, and went on to make a total $254 million in sales, making it more lucrative than this year.