Alibaba reportedly set to buy stake in streaming video service PPTV



Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba is apparently in the final stages of talks to buy a stake in streaming video service PPTV, with an announcement set to come soon.

According to Sina Tech, which broke the news, the deal has been in the works for some time now, but it’s still unclear whether Alibaba is looking to acquire the video streaming company or will settle for just a stake.

There were apparently a number of parties interested in getting their hands on a slice of PPTV, but Alibaba may have been favoured because the two companies have a common investor in Softbank.

Among the other parties that expressed an interest were Chinese online media company Sohu and electronics retailer Sunning, but price has apparently been a serious barrier.

As The Next Web notes, while Alibaba’s core focus is ecommerce, it should hardly be surprising that it’s interested in a company like PPTV.

After all, the company recently announced that it was launching a Smart TV operating system and partnering with the likes of Cisco and Chinese manufacturers to build smart TVs, set-top boxes and services to run inside them.

If the deal goes through, it would be the latest in a string of big name buys in the Chinese online video market. In early 2012, two of the country’s fiercest rivals — in the shape of Youku and Tudou — merged and then search giant Baidu announced that it would be buying PPS video in May this year.

It would also be in line with new CEO Jonathan Lu’s efforts to diversify the fields the company plays in, which have to date included ventures into social, courtesy of a stake in Sina, a new search engine and expanded mapping efforts via a 28% stake in mapping company Autonavi.



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