Retail in Asia

In Trends

Alibaba invests in Chinese smartphone maker Meizu

Alibaba Group, China’s largest e-commerce company, said on Sunday that it will invest USD590 million for a minority stake in Meizu, one of China’s leading smartphone manufacturers.

As a result of the investment, Alibaba Group and Meizu will collaborate at both strategic and business levels to achieve a deeper integration of Meizu’s hardware and Alibaba Group’s mobile operating system. Alibaba Group will provide Meizu with resources and support in the fields of e-commerce, mobile internet, mobile operating system and data analysis with the aim of developing Meizu’s smartphone ecosystem. Alibaba Group’s online shopping marketplaces will also become distribution channels for Meizu’s smartphones and other devices.

"The investment in Meizu represents a significant expansion of the Alibaba Group ecosystem and an important step in our overall mobile strategy as we strive to bring users a wider array of mobile offerings and experiences," said Jian Wang, Chief Technology Officer of Alibaba Group.

"This strategic collaboration with Alibaba Group will enable Meizu to further develop our smartphone business and our smart devices ecosystem," said Meizu’s Chief Executive Officer, Yongxiang BAI.

Although not among China’s top smartphone brands, Meizu is showing great prospect for the future. The smartphone maker sold over 1.5 million units in January, a 50 percent growth compared with the previous month.

The Chinese smartphone market is experiencing fast growth, with homegrown brands gaining an increasing market share. At the end of 2014, China had more than one billion mobile phone users and about 40 percent of them use smartphones, according to IDC.