How Women's Bra Sizes Weirdly Correlate To Their Spending Habits

A big data puzzler out of China

Part Of A...Helpful Infographic

Translation: "Women with larger brassiere cup sizes have more spending power."China News Network

If you want to make billions in 2014, you have to understand big data. Chinese web sales giant Alibaba understands this concept better than most, as it utilizes comprehensive data analytics to predict how consumers are going to spend their money. And while the company's number crunchers were hard at work hunting trends, they stumbled across this correlation: women who spent big bucks also tended to have, ahem, bigger busts.

Chinese women who buy B-cups fell disproportionately (65 percent) into lower spending categories overall, with only 7 percent occupying high spending categories. C- and D-cup buyers landed in the middle 61 percent of the time. Meanwhile, a full third of E-cup buyers spent enough on Alibaba to earn high-spending labels—9 percent more than D-cup buyers and 24 percent more than B-cup buyers.

This gleeful, schoolyard illustration of the discovery (link Chinese) probably tells us more about the culture of China News Network's newsroom than the buying habits of female Chinese consumers. But, as Quartz points out, finding even salacious patterns points to the depth of Alibaba's dive into the underserved Chinese data market:

Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma has named data mining as one of the company’s priorities, setting up a dedicated data platform of some 800 employees last year. At a conference in March, Ma said, “Six years ago we made our decision that Alibaba is going to be a data sharing company…We knew that society needs it. That is enough for us to take up the challenge of innovating cloud computing and big data technologies.”

According to [vice president Joseph] Tsai, Alibaba’s trove of e-commerce data underpins its forays into seemingly disparate sectors from financial services and healthcare, to film, and soccer clubs—the company has already been using its data to build credit profiles for loans to individuals and businesses since 2010. “The next step is how to leverage the e-commerce data into adjacent fields,” Tsai said. “For example, if we have a lot of data on what people purchase in terms of food, groceries, is that data going to be helpful when we do healthcare? I think so.”

Other discoveries from Alibaba's stat miners? About 80 percent of Chinese women who wear G-cups have above average incomes and "like photography"; On average, Chinese women with above average incomes tend to like padded bras; Chinese men with high incomes seem to prefer women with bigger cup sizes, but they usually don't spend more than ¥100 (about $16 US) on gift brassieres; And female Guangdong residents tend to want larger breasts, while petites rule in Beijing.

Do with that information what you will.

(Translations courtesy of Zhao Zhen and Alissa Zhu)