Alibaba buys into online video-sharing site Bilibili to tap young consumers

Alibaba announced in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday that its subsidiary Taobao has bought nearly 24 million shares of China’s leading online video sharing platform Bilib

Alibaba announced in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday that its subsidiary Taobao has bought nearly 24 million shares of China’s leading online video sharing platform Bilibili.

The means Alibaba would own 10.8% of Bilibili’s Class Z Ordinary Shares, according to the filing, while a Xinhua report said that Alibaba’s stake in this NASDAQ-listed company could reach 8%.

Neither the filing nor the Xinhua report shared prices for these newly acquired shares.  Bilibili closed at US$18.92 per share Thursday, up 3.96% from the day before.

Late last year, Taobao and Bilibili formed an agreement to develop a dynamic ecosystem that would better connect video creators, merchandise and users on both platforms.

Established in 2009, Bilibili claims that the majority of its user base are Gen Z, individuals born between 1990 to 2009 in China, citing market research company QuestMobile.

Videos on Bilibili can rack up astonishing numbers. In 2015, a high school student in China remixed part of a speech by Xiaomi founder Lei Jun into a song, posting it on Bilibili. That video has been viewed by more than 15.6 million times. It received a total of 43,884 comments.

Xiaomi later cooperated with Bilibili in several new product launch ceremonies, including its first full-screen smartphone Mi Mix.