SINGAPORE (Nov 11): It began as an anti-Valentine’s Day in 1990s China, celebrated on Nov 11. Written numerically as 11/11, the date even looks like “bare branches” — a local term for being single.

Now, Singles’ Day (also known as Guanggun Jie) has grown into the world’s biggest annual online sales event, where Asian customers raid e-commerce platforms to score deals and discounts. It is big business: Last year, more than 180,000 brands participated in the event, raking in more than $41 billion.

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