Taylor Swift to perform at Alibaba's Singles Day countdown event
Taylor Swift will perform in Shanghai on Nov. 10 as part of Alibaba's countdown to its Singles Day sale, the world's largest online shopping event.
Why it matters: It's an easy way for the world's biggest pop star to get huge exposure in a massive market, but Swift is sure to face some blowback for choosing to perform for a Chinese tech giant after the recent NBA controversy highlighted the power that China's economy can have over Americans' free speech.
- That risk is highlighted by the fact that Swift is the only major American artist mentioned in Alibaba's press release for the event.
- Alibaba's Singles Day is bigger than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined, raking in $30.7 billion in 24 hours last year and topping Amazon's Prime Day sales in less than 10 minutes.
The state of play: Swift is already hugely popular in China. Her newest release, "Lover," is the most popular international full-length album in the country this year, per Forbes.
- Getting Swift even more publicity in China could mean big bucks for her record label, Universal Music Group, which signed Swift to a mega-deal last year.
- UMG's parent Vivendi is currently in negotiations to sell a 10% stake — with an option up to 20% — to Tencent, another Chinese tech giant.
- Tencent owns Tencent Music, China's largest streaming service with more than 800 million users. Its U.S. IPO last year valued the company at $21.3 billion, per Reuters.
Go deeper: Hollywood's cave to China on censorship