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Photo: John Shearer/Getty Images

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

Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.