Chinese online megamarket Alibaba is in negotiations to invest $200 million in Snapchat, according to Bloomberg.
Analyst You Na told Bloomberg that Alibaba is interested in getting into social media. But Alibaba and Snapchat recently have something in common: They are both signing deals with the entertainment industry. Alibaba invested big in entertainment last year, announcing partnership plans with Lionsgate Studios in July 2014 and purchasing a controlling stake in ChinaVision Media Group, which it promptly renamed Alibaba Pictures. And in the first months of 2015, Snapchat has gotten into sports entertainment, TV news, and streaming video. If Alibaba does invest in Snapchat, it is certainly possible that the companies could partner on entertainment products.
When we named Alibaba No. 3 on our list of the most innovative companies of 2015, we wrote of its founder Jack Ma: “The company run by CEO Jack Ma is far more ambitious: Last year it began targeting and remaking some of the country’s most moneyed industries, from banking to entertainment…. Ma says China needs ‘great cultural products.’ He may just be the movie (and finance) mogul-in-the-making that does it.”