Alibaba interested to invest in the Sina video platform


China’s tech media began spreading a very interesting story: according to the First Economic Daily, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has been holding secret talks with Sina and is interested in investing in the company’s video platform. Neither company has confirmed these reports — Alibaba doesn’t comment on rumors — but supposedly the companies have made substantial headway in the discussions, and according to an anonymous source at Alibaba quoted in the First Economic Daily report, the talks are being pushed forward at “a high level,” meaning that both companies’ executives are likely keen on the deal.

Of course nothing has been finalized or even confirmed yet, but the reports do make sense. Alibaba has formed a strong relationship with Sina following its massive investment in Sina Weibo, and there have been rumors swirling for some time now that the company is interested in online video. In fact, right here on this site we previously wrote that Alibaba needs to acquire a video platform of some kind to make its smart TV worthwhile; this investment deal could be Alibaba’s move to address those concerns.

Beyond the Smart TV, though, Alibaba has been acquiring all kinds of social services, and video seems like a logical enough next step. Given the ways that advertising can be integrated into video these days, it’s possible that Alibaba wants Sina Video mainly as a platform for e-commerce marketing.

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