Alibaba has invested $590 million in Chinese smartphone vendor Meizu for an undisclosed stake in the company, Reuters reports. The Chinese e-commerce giant, which has interests in other Internet businesses as well, had earlier planned to launch its own smartphone OS for the Chinese market to take on Android, which powers majority of smartphones in the country but doesn’t come with Google services, which are banned there. The OS was seen as a way for Alibaba to reach out to more users with its pre-installed services.The investment would give Alibaba a minority stake in the company, which started out as a maker of MP3 players and pivoted to smartphones in 2007. Its smartphones became popular initially but were run over by Xiaomi. Currently Meizu doesn’t have presence in international markets and is reported to have just 2 percent market share in China. However, in its latest flash sale 100,000 units of its entry-level M1 smartphone were sold in just one minute.
Alibaba has already prepped up Meizu MX4 device with their own YunOS. This deal will further help Alibaba to leverage its mobile operating system through the Meizu devices. Meizu, on the other hand, will gain access to the e-commerce giants sales channels and other resources. Alibaba had also recently acquired 25 percent stake in Paytm for $575 million