Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. will invest $590 million in smartphone maker Meizu Technology Co. to get its mobile operating system on millions of handsets in China. Alibaba will hold a minority stake in Meizu and integrate the smartphone’s hardware with its YunOS software.
Alibaba believes that the YunOS software will drive its growth beyond selling clothes and gadgets into the entertainment and healthcare sectors as it tries to capture a greater share of China’s 557 million smartphone users.
“The investment in Meizu represents a significant expansion of the Alibaba Group ecosystem and an important step in our overall mobile strategy,” says Wang Jian, Alibaba’s chief technology officer. “This strategic collaboration with Alibaba Group will enable Meizu to further develop our smartphone business and smart devices ecosystem,” adds Meizu CEO Yongxiang Bai.