Alibaba to invest $194 million in financial media firm CBN

The logo of Alibaba Group is seen inside the company's headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province early November 11, 2014. REUTERS/Aly Song

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd will buy for $194 million an undisclosed stake in domestic financial media firm China Business News (CBN), the e-commerce giant said on Thursday, adding to its growing clout in financial services.

The deal with CBN, part of Shanghai Media Group, will involve setting up a financial data and information platform targeting the China’s fast-growing investment community, Alibaba said in a statement.

Alibaba’s stake will bolster Executive Chairman Jack Ma’s already extensive holdings in China’s financial sector, where he is aiming to build an array of online services to challenge state-owned banks and financial institutions.

Ma’s interests in the financial sector include Ant Financial, an affiliate of Alibaba which operates China’s biggest online payment processing service.

The financial data platform with CBN will target small and medium sized companies (SMEs) as well as investors and financial decision markers, the statement said.

The deal confirms reports on Wednesday that Alibaba would strike a deal with Shanghai Media Group.

Reporting by Adam Jourdan and Paul Carsten; Editing by Miral Fahmy