American pop superstar Taylor Swift will headline Alibaba's
Taylor Swift's presence is notable given her recent comments on her own political beliefs and the increasing tension between the China and the US. Alibaba has close ties to the government as revealed by Ali Baba CFO and Brooklyn Nets' owner Joe Tsai's comments following Daryl Morey's tweet on the Hong Kong controversy. Swift should expect criticism in the same way NBA players who are outspoken about domestic politics were targeted for not speaking up about China due to financial reasons.
Singles' Day started in 2009 and has quickly become the Chinese version of Black Friday. Sales went from under $10 million in its inaugural year to expecting a gross nearly $50 billion in revenue this year. The success of this specific promotion is linked to the explosion of online shopping in China and Alibaba's strong positioning in this market.
Now the company is attempting to turn this into a global phenomenon exemplified by featuring the world's biggest pop star. Previous years featured stars like Kobe Bryant, Scarlet Johansson, Mariah Carey and Nicole Kidman. This time, the company is looking to make a bigger splash with a performance by Swift and multiple performances by other popular acts. The company says it will combine elements of a pop concert, variety show, countdown, and home-shopping show.
Beyond the Singles' Day excitement, Alibaba's stock has been doing very well. Year-to-date, the company's stock is 42% higher. Compare this to a 19.7% gain for the Shanghai Stock Exchange
Its recent earnings report also reveals a company that is achieving its growth targets. Since early 2018, the company's stock price has basically traded between $120 and $200. Not coincidentally, this is when the trade war started. Despite this potent headwind, the company's sales grew from $33.8 billion to $64.9 billion over a 12-month trailing basis.
Over this time period, the company has maintained its margins and continues its growth trajectory. Now that the trade tensions are decreasing and a deal seems imminent, the stock could finally see a breakout to new, all-time highs.