Alibaba, Wasu link up to launch set-top box

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Shanghai Daily, July 24, 2013
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Alibaba Group and digital TV network operator Wasu Media Holding Co said yesterday they will jointly launch a set-top box as the e-commerce giant steps up efforts to expand its services to cover consumers' daily life.


Alibaba Group Holding Ltd on Tuesday added the smart televisionsector to its markets-to-conquer list amid speculation that the e-commerce giant plans a $100 billion initial public offering in Hong Kong this autumn. [Photo/]

Wasu will be responsible for the hardware and overall service while Alibaba will provide the operating system, based slightly on its own Aliyun OS, for the set-top box.

Yu Ce, vice president of products at Aliyun OS, denied reports that the launch of the set-top box is designed to build the momentum for a possible listing of Alibaba Group.

"E-commerce will be an important component of Alibaba's set-top box and we hope to make the industry more dynamic with our partners," he said.

Online shopping and payment service will be important features as Wasu and Alibaba deepen their collaboration on digital TV shopping. Other services will be similar to ordinary set-top boxes such as online streaming of video content and TV programs.

Wasu has been offering digital television shopping service since 2010 with the help of Taobao and this new set-top box is a step forward for the two partners.

IResearch analyst Yan Huawen pointed out that it's not surprising that the Alibaba set-top box would allow easier shopping from TV screens compared with other similar products, but it is still unclear how it will play out with consumers.

Li Yiqing, chairman and president of Wasu Media Network Co, said the product is expected to be unveiled within the next two or three months.



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