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Alibaba joins hands with Suning on sports-related programs

By He Wei in Shanghai | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-07-19 19:36

Internet giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd will team up with the sports division of Suning Co Ltd on sports-related programs, the duo said in a press conference on Thursday. 

Under the agreement, Alibaba’s video site Youku will join hands with Suning’s proprietary PP Sports channel to collaborate on content, membership management and other services.

The partnership came as the Jiangsu-headquartered electronics retailer announced on the same day it has completed its A Series financing led by Alibaba and investment bank Goldman Sachs.

Other investors include a number of local government-backed sports funds and investment arms of banks, Suning said in a statement.

Suning is racing to secure soccer TV rights and has secured the copyrights to air matches from Europe’s top leagues and the Chinese Super League in China, a lucrative market of hundreds of millions of fans.

Suning and Alibaba entered into partnership back in 2015 through a mutual sharing-buying plan, since then they have moved to integrate online and store-based shopping.

It’s also not the first time Suning has sharpened focus on sports-related business. Earlier this month, Suning tied up with Migu Co Ltd, an entertainment subsidiary of Chinese mobile carrier China Mobile, to work on broadcasting sporting events, content production, smart hardware, 5G multimedia technological innovation, among others.

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