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Alibaba Group Holding is looking beyond borders to turn its annual Singles' Day shopping celebration into a global phenomenon.

This Sunday, the Chinese internet giant is including sales from Lazada, the online shopping mall it controls. Southeast Asia' biggest web retailer is becoming a key part of Alibaba's plan to fuel growth, on top of the company's efforts to move into shopping malls, convenience stores and food delivery.

The challenge for billionaire Jack Ma's online empire is to break another sales transaction record after a decade of exceeding prior results. With a brewing trade war, a cooling economy and rising competition from smaller platforms such as JD.com and Pinduoduo, Alibaba is seeking to add new growth engines. The retail celebration on Nov. 11 dedicated to the nation's unattached has become an important bellwether not just for the company, but also the world's No. 2 economy.

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