Alibaba to launch Chinese Netflix style service in two months

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By Larry Banks

Alibaba intends to launch an online video streaming service in China in 2 months, in an attempts to emulate the US-based Netflix and HBO, the head of the firm’s digital and entertainment division said on Sunday.

Alibaba’s Netflix style video service to launch in China

The service will apparently be called TBO (or Tmall Box Office) with content from China and other countries, as well as in-house productions, according to Alibaba’s Patrick Liu.

TBO will launch into a very competitive online video market in China, where companies are spending billions to buy media to attract enough viewers to become the dominant player.

Alibaba’s service will compete with companies such as Tencent Holdings, Baidu’s iQiyi,, and Leshi Internet Information and Technology.

“Our mission, the mission of all of Alibaba, is to redefine home entertainment”, said Liu. “Our goal is to become like HBO in the United States, to become like Netflix in the United States”.

However, it was not clear how the service would fit with Youku Tudou, one of China’s largest and most successful video streaming services, a company in which Alibaba owns a 16.5% stake.

Unlike most of its domestic rivals, around 90% of TBO’s content will be paid for, via a monthly subscription or on a show by show basis, with the remaining 10% being free.

Netflix is apparently considering making an entry into China, a difficult task for most foreign Internet companies…

SOURCE: Reuters.

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