The Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has big plans for entering the mobile market. The company just announced its intention to invest $145 million into the development of a global distribution network for mobile games.
Plans for a strong and powerful alliance
Simon Shi, president of Alibaba Games, talked about some first details in a press conference held in Beijing this week. The plan is to establish the so-called “Global Strategic Alliance of Game Distribution”. Essentially, the alliance is a series of partnerships with companies across the world. Among them are names like Mail.ru Group, TFJoy, Efun, and ONEMT and the likes.
New markets, new opportunities
With this bold step, the company wants to tap into new potential but not yet mature markets. “The development in mobile games market in the 5 biggest international market – Europe and the United States, Japan, and South Korea, the Middle East, Latin America and Southeast Asia is uneven. European, American, Japanese and South Korean markets are already considered mature markets, while the Middle East in the past two years is seeing rapid development, and Latin America and Southeast Asia as the emerging markets show very high potential in the mobile games consumption. We are doing very well in emerging markets like India and Indonesia already”, says Simon Shi, President Alibaba Games, Alibaba Digital Media & Entertainment Group.
Not new to games
However, it is by far not the first time that Alibaba shows interest in games. In recent years the company has made several investments in the industry. Among them were investments of $120 million in Kabam in July 2014, $10 million in Ouya in January 2015, leading a huge funding round for Magic Leap in February 2016, as well as involvements in hundreds of eSports events across China since April 2016.