Here’s an interesting deal in the making: Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba is reportedly planning to invest at least $90m in a stake in South Korean music firm SM Entertainment. The latter is one of the top K-Pop stables, with artists including Girls’ Generation, EXO and Super Junior on its roster. iResearch News claims that Alibaba would become the second largest shareholder in SM if the deal goes through as reported, behind founder Lee Soo-Man. And the report suggests that Alibaba and SM are “considering setting up a joint venture in China” once the deal is done. Alibaba’s music ambitions are already pretty fascinating: the company owns streaming service Xiami, whose CEO recently laid into Taylor Swift’s “stupid… ungrateful” streaming pullout (Bulletin, 14-Nov-14). But it also has stakes in microblogging service Weibo and messaging app Tango, giving it a huge platform for whatever the partnership with SM throws up.
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