Pop superstar Taylor Swift helps Alibaba plug Singles’ Day, the world’s biggest shopping spree
- Swift is the highest-profile act to feature at Alibaba’s November 11 retail extravaganza since its inception more than a decade ago
American pop superstar Taylor Swift will headline Alibaba Group Holding’s Singles’ Day campaign next month in Shanghai, turning her considerable star wattage on the world’s largest annual online shopping spree.
By most measures the biggest recording star on the planet, Swift is the highest-profile act to feature at Alibaba’s annual November 11 retail extravaganza since its inception more than a decade ago.
She joins celebrities from Chinese singer G E M to Japanese voice actress Kana Hanazawa in Shanghai mere months after wrapping a similar Prime Day celebration for Amazon.com in the United States.
New York-listed Alibaba, the parent company of the South China Morning Post, co-opted Singles’ Day – an unofficial campus holiday for the unattached in China – and turned it into a national showcase for online bargains, netting more than US$30 billion of sales over a 24-hour period in 2018.
Swift, who succeeds the likes of Mariah Carey and Nicole Kidman on Alibaba’s stage, will be throwing her weight behind China’s largest and perhaps best-known corporation at a time Washington is trying to contain the Asian nation’s ascendancy.
The 29-year-old, whose seventh studio album Lover sold better initially in China than in the US, underscores Alibaba’s effort to take its signature event global. Two of Swift’s previous albums, 1989 and Reputation, were both certified for over 1 million copies consumed in China. That was despite a brief controversy over the title of the former collection, which some took to be a reference to the Tiananmen crackdown of the same year, a politically charged and heavily censored event.
Alibaba said in a statement on Monday that Swift will feature in a televised and live-streamed concert in the run-up to the start of the 24-hour Singles’ Day promotion.
More than 200,000 brands will take part in this year’s event, offering a million new products. More than 500 million people are expected to participate – about 100 million more than last year, according to the statement.
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