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Chinese Couriers Struggle To Deal With Record Number Of Packages
Singles day saw over 250 million packages delivered by China's postal and courier companies (CCSS Level: Grade 7, Words: 274)
Nov 13, 2016 Style & Living
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Singles' Day in China is the world's largest online shopping spree. This year consumers visiting the main online e-commerce sites spent over US$25 billion in the 24 hours, up a huge 35% over last year. And all of that online shopping has to be delivered somehow, which is where the country's postal and courier services come in. On Singles' Day alone, over 250 million packages were handled, and in the whole week it is thought that just over 1 billion packages will be sent.

The shopping day was supposedly started by university students back in the 1990s, who were celebrating being single. November 11, (the eleventh day of the eleventh month), was chosen for its lonely ones.

When Alibaba launched the annual online sale on Singles' Day 2009, only 27 sellers took part, but they offered deep discounts for a 24-hour period. The idea took off and now it is bigger than both Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the two biggest shopping days in the US. The huge number of packages strains the country's logistics system, especially in the first three days after the shopping spree starts.

Most of the money that is spent on the day goes straight to the sellers, with Alibaba making profit from a small commission and fees from advertising. But the sheer number of transactions makes sure that everyone profits very well. Most sellers report that their sales jump two or even three times above normal volumes. Of course not everyone is happy. Some consumers complain over not being able to buy exactly what they want. Others are concerned with the long wait times to receive their merchandise.

According to the article, Singles' Day is bigger than ...
Valentine's Day gift buying
Christmas holiday shopping
Chinese New Year week
Black Friday and Cyber Monday
The phrase "deep discounts" means ...
big reductions
half price
long delays
free delivery
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ad-ver-ti-sing

sending a message to sell more product


n.广告

an-nu-al

happening every year


adj.年度/全年

bil-lion

a very large number, equal to 10^9


No.十亿

ce-le-bra-ting

a happy get-together to mark a special event


v.庆祝

com-mis-sion

a payment to an agent for services


n.佣金

com-plain

show unhappiness about an event or situation


v.抱怨

con-cerned

worried, troubled or anxious


adj.关心

con-su-mers

people who buy goods and services for their own use


n.消费者

de-li-ver

bring and hand over goods


v.交付

dis-counts

amounts taken off the usual cost


n.折扣

launched

to send or shoot a rocket into outer space / to get moving


v.发射/推出

liv-er

the largest organ in the body, which breaks down and detoxifies substances


n.肝

lo-gis-tics

the commercial activity of taking goods to customers


n.后勤

mer-chan-dise

things sold to promote a team


n.商品

mis-sion

an important task, usually involving travel


n.任务/使命

on-line

while connected to a computer


adv.线上

pack-a-ges

things packed in boxes


n.包裹

pro-fits

the amount of money made by making or selling something


n.利润/盈利

spe-cial

better or greater than usual


adj.特别

spree

a period of non-stop action of some kind


n.狂欢

stem

the main body or stalk of a plant or shrub, usually rising above ground


n.干茎

strains

needing more than normal effort


v.劳损

sup-po-sed-ly

what people think, but may not be true


adv.据说

trans-ac-tions

an instance of buying or selling something


n.交易