BEIJING, April 8 Alibaba Group Holding Ltd
founder Jack Ma and other partners will pay 6.54
billion yuan ($1.05 billion) for a 20 percent stake in China's
Wasu Media Holding Co Ltd, Wasu Media said.
Alibaba and Wasu Digital TV Media Group also have signed a
cooperation agreement for online content and Internet TV, Wasu
Media said in a statement to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange on
The move comes amidst a spate of investments by China's
Internet companies, including Alibaba rivals Tencent Holdings
Ltd and Baidu Inc, as they look to move away
from PCs and onto people's smartphone, tablet and Internet TV
"Alibaba and Wasu Group are optimistic about the future
development of China's media industry and will support each
other in areas such as original content development, video
communication, games, music, education, cloud computing, big
data, as well as other areas of future exploration and
investment in the media industry," Alibaba said on Tuesday.
The agreement extended a partnership on Smart TVs launched
on Alibaba's TV operating system last July, Alibaba said.
Wasu Media said it planned to sell the 20 percent stake in a
private share placement to Hangzhou Yunxi Investment Partnership
Enterprise, which is owned by Ma, Alibaba co-founder Simon Xie
and Shi Yuzhu, billionaire founder of Giant Interactive Group
"Alibaba and Wasu Group are eager to explore additional
possibilities for strategic, business, and technological
cooperation to meet growing demand in China for more integrated
TV, mobile, and Internet services," Alibaba said.
China currently has the world's largest Internet population,
and 80 percent of its 618 million Internet users went online via
mobile devices as of end-2013, according to the official China
Internet Network Information Center.
($1 = 6.2123 Chinese Yuan)
(Reporting by Paul Carsten; editing by Jane Baird)