Alibaba and Tencent join hands to expand smart-TV business

Long-time rivals Alibaba and Tencent have planned to invest in Whaley Technology, an Internet-TV start-up founded by China Media Capital (CMC)’s chairman Li Ruigang, according to Xinhua News Agency.

The source said that Whaley now has four partners – CMC, Alibaba, Tencent and the holder of an Internet-TV license, China National Radio.

The company did not reveal how much each partner invested, but said it had raised start-up capital of RMB2 billion (around US$313 million).

Li said Whaley will focus on technology, while CMC, Alibaba and Tencent will provide content.

Whaley unveiled its first 55-inch 4K resolution smart TV at an event on August 13 with a price tag of RMB 3,799 (US$595) and started pre-selling on Alibaba's Tmall online marketplace the following day. Customers can also make purchases from August 18.

Both Alibaba and Tencent have declined to comment on the investment.