Alibaba has acquired an 18% share of Sina’s Weibo platform, as part of a wide ranging partnership that will see both companies explore social commerce and online payment opportunities.
Alibaba invested $586 million to purchase approximately 18% of Weibo and Sina has granted an option allowing Alibaba to increase its ownership in Weibo to 30%.
Charles Chao, chairman and CEO of Sina, said the move would be a boon to individuals and businesses looking to sell products and services on the social networking platform.
“We believe e-commerce will play a vital role in building an eco-system around Weibo’s open platform,” he said.
Jack Ma, Chairman of Alibaba, added the strategic alliance will create a stronger Weibo.
“It affirms our view of the vitality and importance of social media in unleashing value in e-commerce activities.
“We believe that the cooperation of our two robust platforms will bring unique and valuable services to Weibo users, as well as making the mobile internet a core part of Alibaba’s strategy.”