With an opening concert from Katy Perry and an appearance by former basketball player Kobe Bryant, China’s Singles Day sale kicks off this week with more glitz than ever. The 24-hour sale was not invented by Alibaba but the ecommerce group has made it a fixture of the retail calendar. Now the company plans to use the brouhaha around the event to launch itself beyond mainland China, the Financial Times reports. The company is exploiting a trove of big data gathered through its retail, streaming and payment platforms in China, and this year it is launching a pilot program targeting Singles Day shoppers in Hong Kong and Taiwan for the first time. Next year it plans to target Southeast Asia. Alibaba turned over $14.3bn on November 11 last year.