Kaylene Hong was Asia Reporter for The Next Web between 2013 and 2014, based in Singapore. She is bilingual in English and Mandarin. Stay in Kaylene Hong was Asia Reporter for The Next Web between 2013 and 2014, based in Singapore. She is bilingual in English and Mandarin. Stay in touch via Twitter or Google+.
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is in the final stages of discussions to acquire a stake in Chinese video streaming service PPTV, and an announcement could be made soon, Sina Tech reports.
The report cites sources as saying that the deal between Alibaba and PPTV has basically been inked down, but it is still unclear whether the final deal will be an acquisition or a stake purchase.
Other interested parties in PPTV are said to include Chinese online media company Sohu and electrical appliance retailer Suning, but price considerations have been hindering further discussions.
Despite Alibaba’s main focus on e-commerce, it would not be surprising at all for the company to take a stake in PPTV, given its recent announcement that it has developed a smart TV operating system and is working with a number of partners, including Cisco and Chinese manufacturers, to develop smart TVs, set-top boxes and services to run inside them. Adding PPTV into its portfolio could help Alibaba cover video content too, other than hardware.
Alibaba declined to comment when contacted.
China’s online video space has been seeing a lot more consolidation. Last year, Youku and Tudou merged in a deal estimated at $1 billion and in May this year, Chinese search giant Baidu announced it would buy PPS Video for $370 million.
Alibaba’s latest reported move comes amid the company’s moves to extend its push into social media, maps and other verticals of late as it seeks to build a wider presence.
New CEO Jonathan Lu, who replaced founder Jack Ma at the helm of the company, has said Alibaba will invest in deals and projects to broaden its presence, particularly on mobile. Recent expansions have included a new search engine, a $586 million investment in microblogging platform Sina Weibo and the purchase of a 28 percent stake in mapping firm Autonavi for $294 million.
Image Credit: Peter Parks via AFP/Getty Images
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