E-commerce giant Alibaba plans to invest RMB 2 billion ($274 million) in supporting medium- and small-sized merchants to achieve one million yuan in turnover during Singles Day, the company’s marketing operating system Alimama announced on Monday. The initiative is part of Alibaba’s strategy to boost consumer spending for China’s biggest shopping festival. Meanwhile, Alibaba’s livestreamed evening gala is set to return on Nov. 11, known in the country as Singles Day, after a year’s absence, with the company adding that it would feature “celebrities and high-profile shows.” This year’s retail bonanza is scheduled to kick off pre-sales on Oct. 24 and end on Nov. 11, with Alibaba also planning to allocate RMB 50 million in cash to subsidize merchants and influencers who conduct livestream shopping events and create related short videos. [NBD, in Chinese]