A bona fide superstar will sing at Alibaba’s annual shopping extravaganza next month — and for once it won’t be Jack Ma.
OK, so there’s no guarantee that the e-commerce giant’s limelight-loving former chairman won’t also treat audiences to a song. But if he does, he’ll have to make room for US pop icon Taylor Swift.
The “You Need to Calm Down” singer will perform on Nov. 10 at Alibaba’s 11.11 Countdown Gala, an annual live show that runs in the hours leading up to the so-called Double 11 shopping festival, Alibaba announced Monday.
The gala, which also features a host of local and international celebrities, will take place at Shanghai’s Mercedes-Benz Arena and be broadcast live both on TV and online, Caixin reported.
With her fondness for songs about heartbreak, Swift is an apt choice of performer for a festival also known as “Singles Day,” the world’s biggest one-day shopping event.
Last year, it generated US$30.8 billion in gross merchandise volume, more than the combined US revenues of Thanksgiving Day and the weekend encompassing Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Since its inception 11 years ago, Double 11 has morphed from a straightforward celebration of discounted shopping to a wall-to-wall celebration of consumerism that’s virtually impossible to shake off.
This year, more than 500 million users and 200,000 brands are expected to participate in the event.
According to Yourstory.com, this year, as the festival steps into its second decade, Alibaba plans to focus on “new consumption,” “new business,” and on actively contributing to a greener society.
“Our goal is to stimulate consumption demand and support lifestyle upgrade in China through new brands and products,” Fan Jiang, President of Taobao and Tmall, stated. (Taobao and Tmall are ecommerce platforms owned and operated by Alibaba.)
Product displays will be powered by ‘See Now, Buy Now’ technology that will allow customers to place instant pre-orders for the first time in the festival’s decade-long history.
“We will enable merchants in China and around the world to grow their businesses through data-driven product innovation and consumer insights, as well as leverage our recommendation technology and content-driven user engagement to delight consumers,” Jiang explained.