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Taylor Swift helps Alibaba plug world's biggest shopping spree

Pop superstar will headline corporation's Singles' Day next month in Shanghai

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By most measures the biggest recording star on the planet, Swift is the highest-profile act to feature at Alibaba's Nov 11 extravaganza since its inception over a decade ago.

Hong Kong 

TAYLOR Swift will headline Alibaba's Singles' Day 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 Group Holding Ltd's Nov 11 extravaganza since its inception over a decade ago.

She joins celebrities from Chinese singer GEM to Japanese voice actress Kana Hanazawa in Shanghai mere months after wrapping a similar Prime Day celebration for Amazon.com Inc.

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Alibaba co-opted Singles' Day - an unofficial campus holiday for the unattached - 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 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 one million copies consumed in China. That's 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 24-hour promotions. More than 200,000 brands will take part this year, 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. BLOOMBERG