Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has reportedly expressed its interest in purchasing Youku Tudou Inc.’s YouTube-like video site in an attempt to provide more streamable content to the Chinese market.
According to Bloomberg, Alibaba executive chair Jack Ma plans to take control of Youku to make the most of the video site in terms of providing more streamable video content to Chinese Internet users.
An insider who has knowledge on the planned purchase but spoke on condition of anonymity said that Alibaba is willing to pay $3.6 billion for the video site's remaining percentage that it does not own.
Analysts see this move as a beneficial one since it would give Ma the power to deliver U.S. films and series to more Chinese Internet users and go head-to-head with Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Baidu Inc.
"Baidu and Tencent have been very aggressive. Taking control of Youku creates more synergy and allows the unit to work better with Alibaba's film unit," IResearch analyst Li Chao said.
Reuters noted that if Alibaba pushes through with this multi-billion deal, it will be purchasing all of the shares of Youku. Each share would be valued at $26.60, which is 30 percent bigger than the closing price on Thursday.
The revelation of Alibaba's planned purchase comes amid the company's yearning to make it big in the entertainment market and develop beyond its conventional marketing platform.
In fact, Alibaba invested in "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation" to act as the promotional partner of the Hollywood film in China, alongside Paramount Pictures, NDTV has learned.
Then, in September, the company also established a company that primarily focuses on sports events, ticketing and media.
With this planned purchase of Youku's shares, Alibaba's footprint in the entertainment scene will grow bigger since the YouTube-like site houses professionally produced material that's licensed from copyright holders.