Social media in China: Alibaba planning to buy stake in Twitter rival Sina Weibo?

19/11/2012

Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba is reportedly planning to invest in micro-blogging platform Sina Weibo, as it looks to expand its social media reach in China. The report, from China Business News, states that Alibaba plans to buy a 15-20% stake in the Twitter rival, which is hugely popular in China. The report said the investment would increase Sina Weibo’s value to between US$2bn and $3bn.

While both companies had not responded to the rumor, an unnamed source from Sina's middle management told the newspaper the two companies had been discussing the investment on many occasions.

The Chinese newspaper speculated Alibaba's investment in Weibo signifies social networking services will be key to its future investments. In 2009, Alibaba had set up an internal social network for Taobao buyers and sellers, but the service did not pick up due to competition from other social networks even after many revamps, China Business News said.

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