Benedict Cumberbatch Speaks Chinese in Singles’ Day Promo

Actor Benedict Cumberbatch will make an appearance at the gala for China’s amped-up version of Black Friday

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Matthew Bossons
Nov 5, 2021 1 mins read

English actor Benedict Cumberbatch is set to make an appearance at the gala for China’s biggest shopping festival, Single’s Day, according to a social media post by the official Singles’ Day account of online shopping site Tmall.

Cumberbatch is set to appear at 7:30 PM during the Singles’ Day Gala, which is held yearly on the evening of November 10, Singles’ Day Eve. (Singles’ Day is November 11, earning it the moniker Double 11 or 11.11.)

The announcement of the British actor’s participation is in Chinese but can be roughly translated as:

Benedict has been diligently studying his Chinese and has finally arrived! Do you want to know what new character he will reveal? On November 10 at 7:30 PM, join us for the Double 11 Gala … Let’s have fun with Benedict.

Tmall’s announcement post on Weibo also included a video in which Cumberbatch speaks Chinese, telling viewers, “Let’s look forward in the pursuit of happiness.”

Based on the announcement, it’s unclear if Cumberbatch will be appearing in person or virtually. However, we’re betting on the latter (we can imagine he has better things to do than spend 21 days in a Chinese quarantine facility).

Another celebrity who will be featured at this year’s gala is the Chinese-Canadian singer-songwriter Henry Lau.

Cumberbatch and Lau are far from the first international celebrities to throw their star-power behind Singles’ Day. In 2019, Taylor Swift performed live at the gala. And, in 2020, she teamed up with Chinese livestream megastar Viya Huang in a prerecorded segment to help move products ahead of Singles’ Day.

Other stars to appear in person and virtually to promote Singles’ Day include Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry, Kim Kardashian, supermodel Miranda Kerr, basketball legends Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson, and the now-disgraced Chinese-Canadian performer Kris Wu.

Singles’ Day, which is essentially Black Friday on steroids, is the biggest online shopping festival globally, with major Chinese ecommerce sites like Taobao and Tmall offering discounts on virtually everything. Last year, Alibaba raked in a record-breaking 498.2 billion RMB (roughly 75 billion USD) during the event.

Cover image via Wikimedia

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