Alibaba unit to invest R200 cr in India to ramp up content distribution

By: | Published: March 9, 2017 5:19 AM

China-based Alibaba Group's mobile business unit UCWeb on Wednesday announced its plans to invest R200 crore to ramp up content distribution in India over the next two years.

The company will be focussing on increasing the reach of its consumer centric product called UC News in India.

China-based Alibaba Group’s mobile business unit UCWeb on Wednesday announced its plans to invest R200 crore to ramp up content distribution in India over the next two years. The company will be focussing on increasing the reach of its consumer centric product called UC News in India.

UCWeb – the mobile business arm of Alibaba competes with the likes of Google and Facebook in India.

“We are moving forward to the era of GUF – (Google, UCWeband Facebook). Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Group plans to invest $7.2 billion in content over the next three years,” said He Xiaopeng, co-founder UCWeb and president, Alibaba Mobile Business Group.

Launched in June 2016, UC News earns its revenue from advertising. The browser also allows an user to block ads, by switching on the ad blocking button present in it. According to the Chinese firm, UC News has monthly active users of over 80 million in India, as of February 2017.

“The latest data on UC News shows that we generated over 3,100 million page views in January, 2017 alone, which translates to 100 million page views daily. As of this quarter, an average user spends over 23 minutes on UC News,” said Kenny Ye, GM- overseas business, Alibaba Mobile Business Group.

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Moreover, to further increase user-generated content on its platform, the company has launched We-Media Reward Plan 2.0, a self-creating content platform in India with an initial investment of R5 crore.

The company which claims to have seen a 30% rise in consumption of video content is currently in the process of setting up a separate team to handle the short videos section. It is also looking at partnering local players to add more video content on the platform.

Last year, Alibaba Holdings launched its new digital media arm, Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment, in a major reorganization of the company’s entertainment assets.

The transformation marked consolidation of Alibaba’s media businesses, including video website YoukuTudou, UCWeb and Alibaba Pictures Group as well as the company’s sports, games, literature, music, and the digital entertainment divisions.

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