Alibaba’s Ma opens more investment doors
Chinese e-commerce king Jack Ma has been kicking up another storm of publicity this week. Poor Asia Unhedged is dizzy just keeping track.
Bloomberg, citing sources, reported Friday that Netflix is chatting with Ma-backed Wasu Media Holding and other possible partners to enter China’s soaring online video market. The U.S. video streaming giant is hunting for a local partner who has a fistful of licenses for content that runs across mobile phones, computers and set-top boxes. The “godfather” of China’s Internet may be their man.
Ma and a group of investors also plunked down HK$2.7 billion for a 56% stake in Hong Kong mid-cap brokerage Reorient Group, according to a notice by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Thursday.
The Reorient move comes amid Hong Kong’s ongoing bull market. It follows word on Monday that mercurial Ma paid US$200 million for an investment in mainland Chinese private conglomerate Fosun International’s HK$9.3 billion private placement.
Bloomberg on Thursday further reported that funds backed by Ma and the son of China’s wealthiest man, Wang Jianlin, were on the verge of becoming lead investors in Letv Sports Culture Develop (Beijing)’s latest fundraising effort.
Letv Sports focuses on streaming live sports events such as this month’s epic boxing match between Floyd Mayweather of the U.S. and Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines.
Also on Thursday, Alibaba said it had agreed to take a minority stake in Shanghai YTO Express (Logistics) Co., one of China’s leading logistics companies.
On Wednesday, Alibaba Group announced that it will be using its mobile apps and website to exclusively stream a historic Pac-12 Conference game of the U.S. National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) to Chinese viewers on Nov. 14. The match between the men’s basketball teams of the University of Washington Huskies and the University of Texas Longhorns will be the first regular-season game, either collegiate or professional, ever hosted by a U.S. sports league in China.
A little more than a week before, the giant Chinese e-commerce site had shocked Wall Street with a 45% surge in revenue for both the fiscal fourth quarter and year ended March 31.
Whew! Doesn’t Jack Ma ever sit still?
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