China’s e-commerce boom over the past decade is gradually turning the Middle Kingdom into a country filled with people who identified themselves as “hand-choppers”. The term may sound coming from some thriller movie but relax, it just refers to online shopping addicts who promise to chop off a hand if they continue to buy things they don’t need.

Hand-choppers may laugh self-deprecatingly, but the underlying change in consumption habits in China is by no means that easy.

Singles’ Day (光棍节) should actually be called “Double 11” (双十一) because that’s how Chinese people refer to the shopping festival. While couples celebrate and shop for each other on Valentine’s Day, the bachelors/bachelorettes liven up their lonely lives with shopping sprees on their own day.

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.