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Alibaba's India OTT may launch in three months

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MUMBAI: According to a report by The Ken, Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba has announced plans to launch an over-the-top (OTT) video service in India over the next three months. The service will be introduced in partnership with its Indian investee company Paytm and mobile Internet subsidiary UCWeb, the report said.

However, in a statement made to Indian Television Dot Com, an Alibaba Group spokesperson said: "India is key in our globalization strategy and we are very committed to growing our existing businesses in this market in the long term. As a policy we do not comment on market speculation.”

“It’s an obligatory play. The global player does it so we have no option but to follow it,” the report quoted a senior Paytm official as saying.

Over the last several months, Jack Ma-led Alibaba has reportedly been scouring the Indian market looking for quality content creators and production houses in Mumbai.

The ecommerce behemoth is also reportedly in the process of hiring a strategic alliance head in Gurugram as well as a strategic alliance head for Video in either Mumbai or Gurugram.

Both of these positions would fall under the Alibaba-owned UCWeb’s business, sources have revealed. It is, however, believed that the move will be spearheaded locally by Damon Xi, head of UCWeb India and Indonesia.

Currently, Alibaba has two contest-based products in India – mobile browser UCWeb and We-Media, which together boast over 200 Mn users. Launched in March 2017 with an initial investment of Rs 5 crore ($782000), We-Media is a UCWeb-operated platform wherein users can post their own content in the form of articles, photos and videos.

Alibaba currently has a formidable presence in the Chinese OTT video market through Youku Tudou, which it acquired in 2015. Youku and Tudou are, essentially, two free video sites like YouTube that were merged in 2012.

Also Read:

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