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Alibaba launches global shopping festival

Alibaba global shopping festivalE-commerce giant Alibaba has launched the 2016 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, unveiling over three weeks of marketing promotions, entertainment programs, and new product offerings from around the world.

The festival, which focuses on globalisation and engaging Chinese consumers with entertainment, interactive content, virtual reality, O2O, and storefront personalisation, will include mobile live streaming, virtual reality shopping, interactive games, to an eight-hour livestreamed fashion show and a star-studded countdown gala.

“The 11.11 Shopping Festival has become the global retail benchmark over the past seven years, and we have raised the bar again this year to redefine the retail experience for consumers together with our merchants from around the world,” said Daniel Zhang, Alibaba Group CEO, during a press conference in Hong Kong attended by dozens of representatives from international brands, including Macy’s, Costco, Metro, Watson’s, Swisse, Kanebo, and eMart.

American pop star Katy Perry will also perform at a gala event to kick off Alibaba Group’s Global Shopping Festival in Shenzhen on November 10.

The e-commerce giant has named Perry as “global ambassador” to promote China’s largest shopping day of the year worldwide.

“11.11 has evolved far beyond a 24-hour sales event. From today through November 11, consumers will discover, explore, play, watch, comment, share, recommend and shop across our entire ecosystem with our merchants both online and offline,” Zhand said.

“Leveraging our robust infrastructure, global merchants have been empowered with unprecedented capability to seamlessly engage and serve customers through new technology and new environments.”

The 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, which now has tens of thousands of participating merchants, began in 2009 with participation from just 27 merchants as an event for merchants and consumers to raise awareness of the value in online shopping.

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