Alibaba is Launching a Space Station for its 11.11 Shopping Festival
Space: the final frontier… for brands and shopping?! Seems to be the way things are going.
Alibaba has decided to launch its own satellite and a mini-space station to mark the Tmall and Taobao-led festival of consumerism that is 11.11, also known as “Singles’ Day”.
The small scale space station will be called Candy Tin and the satellite will be named Tmall International according to reports.
China Daily stated that, “The purpose is to enhance user experience during the 24-hour shopping extravaganza” — that, and to generate headlines and media coverage like this, we expect.
CD went on to say that, “Space technology will better serve the integration of online and offline shopping interactions during the festival.”
Offline shopping interactions… in space?
It’s not clear quite what Alibaba’s involvement with the development and production of this “space technology” has been exactly, but launching objects into the stratosphere seems like the natural next step after having Pharrell Williams and Luis Figo appear at a promotional gala last year.
还不清楚阿里巴巴为何研发和生产这一“空间技术”，但在去年双十一晚会邀请过Pharrell Williams（美国说唱歌手）和Luis Figo（退役足球明星）之后，向太空发射卫星似乎是很自然的一步。
For the uninitiated, Singles’ Day was once a delightfully cynical push back against the saccharine romanticism and pressure to couple up that pervades most areas of Chinese society.
In the last decade, it’s become a more corporately cynical way to get people to fill the void in their lives by buying stuff, with first Taobao and Tmall, and now a whole host of online shopping platforms, offering an array of deals. What started out as a one day thing has also widened to take over almost an entire month, with “pre-deals” already underway on a number of sites this year.
Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall brands still pretty much “own” 11.11 though, and its they who’ll be throwing another star-studded gala on the day this year to encourage online shoppers to open their digital wallets.
The company’s aim this year — the tenth anniversary of the sales event — will be to top the 25 billion USD they raked in through Singles’Day promotions in 2017.
In fact, Alibaba is not so alone in China when it comes to the matter of commercial exploration into the space.
Quietly observing Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin launch from afar were a whole host of Chinese companies.
As the country’s private space industry expands, and the likes of Bezos and Elon Musk continue to play rockets, an increasing number of firms are jostling for the mantle of “China’s Blue Origin” or “China’s SpaceX”.
China’s moves in space exploration have been dominated by the State since the launch of the country’s first manned space flight in 2003, but in recent years more independent actors have come into play.
Not long ago, Beijing-based OneSpace won the race to become the first private Chinese company to successfully launch a rocket, sending their OS-X to a reported altitude of 24 miles; next year, the company plans to make 10 launches.