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Alibaba Goes Global, Singles Day Sales Top $5.9 Billion

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Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. turned an obscure Chinese holiday into the country’s biggest shopping event. Now it’s aiming to take the success of Singles’ Day global by tapping foreign brands, including Calvin Klein and Blue Nile Inc.

Those companies, along with Costco Wholesale Corp., Origins Natural Resources Inc. and American Eagle Outfitters Inc., are participating in today’s event for the first time. Alibaba said it sold more than 36.2 billion yuan ($5.9 billion) of merchandise within 14 hours of the promotion kicking off, eclipsing last year’s record.