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Taylor Swift to perform at Alibaba's Singles Day countdown event

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