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Alibaba invests £125 million in financial media firm CBN

China's largest online retailer and one of the world's largest online retailers Alibaba announced it will buy an undisclosed stake in domestic financial media firm China Business News (CBN).

The deal is worth $194 million (£125m), according to a Reuters report.

The deal with CBN, part of Shanghai Media Group, will involve setting up a financial data and information platform targeting the China's fast-growing investment community, Reuters said in the report.

Alibaba is thus increasing its arsenal in the battle against state-owned banks and financial institutions.

The company’s Executive Chairman Jack Ma’s interests in the financial sector include Ant Financial, an affiliate of Alibaba which operates China's biggest online payment processing service.

The company has said in a statement that the deal with CBN will target SMEs (small and medium businesses), as well as investors and financial decision markers.

And in other Alibaba-related news, its film unit is looking to raise additional $1.6 billion (£1.04bn) by selling 4.2 billion new shares in Hong Kong.

The company spent more than $3 billion (slightly less than £2billion) in the entertainment industry last year.

"The company intends to use the net proceeds from the Placing for general working capital purposes and to finance potential acquisitions arising out of media related investment opportunities that may arise in the future," Hollywood Reporter quotes Alibaba Pictures saying in a regulatory statement.

"As of the date of this announcement, save as previously disclosed, the Company has not identified any specific acquisition targets," it said. The Hong Kong-listed film studio racked up a net loss of $53.56 million (£34m) last year, down from a profit of $24 million (£15m) a year earlier.