China's Alibaba buying Hong Kong's ChinaVision in US$804 million deal
March 13, 2014, 12:10 am TWN
BEIJING--Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is expanding into media by acquiring control of a Hong Kong film and television company, ChinaVision, for US$804 million.
Alibaba Group will buy new shares giving it a 60 percent stake in the TV company, ChinaVision Media Group Ltd. said Wednesday in a statement. Alibaba is allied with two ChinaVision board members whose stake is diluted to about 11 percent from 27 percent.
Alibaba and other Chinese Internet companies are spending heavily to expand beyond their core businesses into instant messaging, games and other areas to compete for China's 618 million Internet users.
ChinaVision produces Chinese-language films and television programs and has a unit that develops content for mobile phones.
Alibaba rival Tencent Holdings Ltd. owns 8 percent of ChinaVision, which will be reduced to 3 percent after additional shares are issued as part of the latest investment, according to the company statement issued through the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.