I N 1993 A group of male students at Nanjing University in China decided to celebrate their single. The annual date would be November 11, consisting of four solitary 1s. The story can be apocryphal. But since 2009, Alibaba, China's e-commerce giant, has made Singles Day a very real shopping experience. It has long been selling US Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales online together. This year, Taylor Swift appeared at the countdown. Over the next 24 hours, Alibaba sold goods worth $ 38.4 billion. Competitors like jd.com and Pinduoduo have settled in. Some people worry that what began as a light-hearted excuse to treat themselves has become a high-pressure version of Valentine's Day. Others reject the harsh conditions that workers face to meet demand and the holiday's environmental impact. But buyers seem to like it.