Alibaba offers to buy Chinese video service Youku Tudou for $4.4B

The Chinese e-commerce giant is adding another string to its bow: Streaming video

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba runs its own payment service, Alipay, but executive chairman Jack Ma won't be using it for his latest purchase: streaming video site Youku Tudou.

Alibaba agreed Friday to pay around US$4.4 billion for the 81.7 percent of Youku Tudou it doesn't yet own -- it bought the rest last year for $1.2 billion. Alibaba plans to leave Youku founder Victor Koo in charge of the company, it said when it made its initial offer on Oct. 16.

It hopes that engaging with the video site's viewers will enable it to sell them more physical goods -- and it intends to push more users of its many e-commerce operations to watch videos on Youku Tudou too.

Alibaba spans a wide range of e-commerce operations, including online retail (Taobao), online storefronts (Tmall), wholesale (Alibaba.com and 1688.com), logistics, finance and payment services.

The acquisition of Youku Tudou will allow Alibaba to add new marketing channels, as Youku Tudou plays host to a number of well-known Chinese video bloggers. The power of social media stars to promote consumer products is being tested by many businesses around the world -- and is also testing regulators' and viewers' abilities to distinguish between unbiased content and paid promotion.

The deal will also give Alibaba the perfect online outlet for its own entertainment products as it develops its content production activities.

The company has recently begun investing in movies, including the recent "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation," and earlier this year launched its own Netflix competitor, Tmall Box Office (TBO), just as Netflix itself is hoping to move into China.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Peter Sayer

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?