Alibaba Group says it expects to surpass the record US$14.3 billion in sales from China’s ‘Singles Day’ in 2015. The event, which is intended to encourage young singles to celebrate their uncoupled state – by buying themselves things – occurs every year on November 11 but has become more of a ‘week’ than a ‘day.’ Alibaba launched its first Singles Day campaign in 2009 with just 27 merchants; now it’s billed as a Global Shopping Festival that kicks off with an international star-studded gala in Shenzhen and copycat campaigns are popping up in markets as diverse as Japan, Singapore and Australia.

More on China’s coal squeeze in our round-up of market-moving stories from Chinese language media. The recent rapid increase in the coal price in the country is partly due to speculation in the market, Sina Finance quoted the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) as claiming. Xu Kunlin, the deputy secretary-general of the commission said the issue of overcapacity must be addressed.

Interpol, the global police cooperation agency, elected a senior Chinese public security official as its president on Thursday. In what could be a boost to Beijing’s domestic anti-graft crackdown – and its efforts to track down fugitive Chinese officials – Vice Public Security Minister Meng Hongwei was chosen for a four-year term as the agency met in Indonesia.

A Malaysian rightist figure has vowed that his supporters will confront a planned large-scale protest against corruption-tainted prime minister Najib Razak this month, warning ominously that “anything can happen, including violence.” Jamal Yunos and his “Red Shirts” group are widely dismissed as ruling-party thugs-for-hire who will seek to suppress any moves against Najib in relation to a huge graft scandal.

Kenny Hodgart

Kenny Hodgart is an editor for Asia Times.