Suning Sports announced their A round funding results on July 19 in Beijing. Reports say the total funding amount reached USD600m and investing organizations included the investment bank Goldman Sachs, the existing strategic partners of Suning Sports-- Alibaba and Evergrande, Chinese investment fund Yunfeng Capital, technology company SenseTime, government investment funds from Zhejiang and Jiangsu Province, and bank investment subsidiaries such as CCB International, CMBC International, ABC International.
At the same time, Alibaba and Suning Sports announced a collaboration and development plans around Youku and PP Sports to develop and strengthen online sports content sector. Youku, the online streaming platform that belongs to Alibaba Digital Media & Entertainment Group, will collaborate with PP Sports, the online streaming platform of Suning Sports, to jointly launch Youku Sports, a new sports channel.
As an established online entertainment content platform, Youku will contribute a big user base to the new channel and its collaboration. PP Sports will on the other hand continue to focus on its advantage in sports content to provide good sports content to audiences. The two parties will also cooperate in building a membership system and providing services to members.
The new Youku Sports channel will focus on original sports content/programmes and entertaining sports content, setting it apart from PP Sports sports broadcasts.
This collaboration can be seen as a further effort by Alibaba to extend its presence in the sports industry, specifically the sports and entertainment content sector. Earlier, Youku had acquired from CCTV, the live streaming rights to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in China.
Yang Weidong, President of Alibaba Digital Media & Entertainment Group and President of Youku, is quoted by many reports as saying that to live broadcast the World Cup is the first step by Alibaba to fully enter the sports content sector and also a demonstration of their determination to do so.
Proofread by Raymond Fitzpatrick