Meizu. the Chinese smartphone maker which has been launching some seriously affordable, yet powerful smartphones like MX 4, has now received over half a Billion in investment from Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba.
This deal however, is more important from a strategic point of view rather than the usual monetary side of the business. Meizu, despite being in operation for over a decade, isn’t a known brand in or outside China.
Though Alibaba has a formidable line-up of e-commerce sites under its name, it also has certain small subsidiaries, working in non-ecommerce markets. Alibaba’s Aliyun OS, which has been the centre point of its entire mobile business, has barely gained any sort of traction, apart from powering some lower-end smartphones. With Meizu, the company is investing big into reviving the dead OS.
Alibaba has thus invested over half a Billion so as to support its barely known Android-based Operating System Aliyun. As of now, the OS is used more on smart TVs, rather than smartphones. Alibaba itself stopped pushing out any major updates to Aliyun, post 2012.
Alibaba said in an announcement,
Alibaba Group will provide Meizu with resources and support in the fields of e-commerce, mobile Internet, mobile operating system and data analysis with the aim of developing Meizu’s smartphone ecosystem.
It further added,
The investment in Meizu represents a significant expansion of the Alibaba Group ecosystem and an important step in our overall mobile strategy as we strive to bring users a wider array of mobile offerings and experiences
As a part of this deal, Meizu’s phones will be exclusively sold through Alibaba’s e-commerce platform.