Taylor Swift album a hit in China, beats US sales

HONG KONG • American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift may be more popular in China than in the United States, going by the first-week sales of her latest music.

Her album, Lover, broke a new record for an international artist in China last Friday as it surpassed one million combined total streams, downloads and sales within a week of its release. The combined total makes it China's most-consumed full-length international album in such a short space of time.

Lover was released on Aug 23 and reached 867,000 equivalent album sales in its first week in the US, according to Billboard magazine.

The record includes songs Me!, featuring Brendon Urie of rock band Panic! At The Disco, and You Need To Calm Down, which has a music video starring a plethora of celebrities including Katy Perry, Laverne Cox, Ellen DeGeneres and Adam Rippon.

The music video for the title track Lover was released more than a week ago and is set in a doll-house-like series of vignettes, moving from room to room as Swift plays instruments including drums, a violin and a guitar.

Her previous albums 1989 and Reputation both surpassed one million consumptions in China, but over a longer period of time.

The 29-year-old pop star has been among the most popular Western musicians in China, where some of the biggest Internet companies are betting on streaming services to lure users. Chinese social media giant Tencent Holdings, for example, has been negotiating to buy 10 per cent of Universal from Vivendi to help it tap fast-growing Asian markets.

REUTERS, BLOOMBERG

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 03, 2019, with the headline 'Taylor Swift album a hit in China, beats US sales'. Print Edition | Subscribe