Alibaba Pays $804M To Take Majority Stake In TV And Movie Producer ChinaVision

Alibaba has agreed to spend HKD $6.24 billion (about USD $804 million) for a 60% stake in TV and film producer ChinaVision Media Group. The purchase will allow Alibaba, which already dominates China’s e-commerce market, to boost its digital entertainment strategy.

In addition to its own TV series and movies, ChinaVision is also the distributor for films like “Journey to the West: Conquering the Demon.” ChinaVision said it has agreed to issue new shares to Alibaba at HKD $0.50 a share.

Like its rivals, including WeChat-maker Tencent and Baidu, Alibaba has sought to diversify its online services with a series of acquisitions and strategic alliances over the last year. Streaming video has become increasingly popular in China as mobile penetration increases and its majority stake in ChinaVision will allow Alibaba to offer more content across its different platforms.

Alibaba’s deal comes one month after it offered $1.13 billion to buy mapping company AutoNavi Holdings, in which it already owns a 28% stake. Last year, Alibaba bought an 18% stake in Sina Weibo, and the two recently jointly launched a mobile payment platform.

Meanwhile, rival Tencent agreed to take a 15% stake in, the second-largest e-commerce company in China after Alibaba, earlier this week. Its other acquisitions include a 20% stake in Dianping, a restaurant review app.