Jack Ma, founder and former CEO of China’s biggest e-commerce company Alibaba, and Shi Yuzhu, the legendary internet entrepreneur and investor, poured 1.06 billion USD (6.54 bn yuan) on 8 April 2014 into WASU Media Holding, a digital television network operator and new media company, according to a Sina.com report.
Ma and Shi jointly bought 286,671,000 shares of WASU’s stock which is listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, entitling them to 20 percent of the new media company and to nominate two board members.
Ma and Shi made their investment as individuals, but at the same time Alibaba - which was founded by Ma - announced on Tuesday it has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with WASU. The two companies will invest in and collaborate on original content, video communication, video games, music, education, cloud computing, and big data.
According to the report, WASU has over 20 million cable TV users and operates in 18 cities across the country, and is a subsidiary of the WASU Group which is partly owned by the government of Zhejiang, a province on the east coast just south of Shanghai. It is one of most developed provinces in China.