Alibaba is poised to buy a major stake in China Business Network, one of China’s leading financial news operations, according to Chinese media reports. China Business Network is part of the state-controlled Shanghai Media Group.
It is not clear how much of the company Alibaba would acquire, but several media sources point to an investment in the region of RMB1 billion ($162 million).
Alibaba has a growing array of media and financial activities and founder Jack Ma has pointed to building a range of financial services that rival the state-owned banks and institutions. Alibaba offers loans through its Ant Financial arm, online payments through Alipay, operates one of the world’s largest money funds and itself was granted a banking license earlier this year.
Ant Financial and SMG last year agreed to jointly invest RMB390 million ($63 million) in financial software firm Gildata, a subsidiary of Hundsun Technologies. Earlier this week a fund controlled by Ma paid HK$2.7 billion (US$348 million) for a stake in Hong Kong-based financial services company Reorient Group.
Alibaba has investments in numerous media and entertainment businesses including share stakes in Youku Tudou, Enlight Media, Huayi Brothers Media and Wasu Media.
- On Tuesday, the separately listed Alibaba Pictures Group confirmed that it is to buy control of Yueke Software Engineering Ltd for RMB830 million ($134 million). The firm provides ticketing services to 1,500 movie cinemas and software to other online ticketing platforms. The deal in principle was announced in April.