alibaba logo Credit: leondel/Flickr

Meizu is gaining a major partner, Alibaba. In an announcement today, Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. will invest $590 million for a minority stake in Meizu Technology Corporation Ltd. Pending approvals and acceptance of closing conditions, of course.

This combination will make for an interesting, and potentially powerful new device and ecosystem offering. On one hand, we have the proven hardware from Meizu, popular as a manufacturer of Android powered devices, albeit with their own skin. On the other hand, Alibaba brings their own mobile operating system, as well as a significant e-commerce marketplace and more.

This strategic collaboration with Alibaba Group will enable Meizu to further develop our smartphone business and our smart devices ecosystem. - Meizu CEO, Yongxiang BAI

Echoing that same sentiment, a spokesperson for Alibaba made mention of this being an important step in their overall mobile strategy, to bring a wide array of mobile offerings and experiences to user.

meizu mx4 pro review aa (14 of 37)

We will have to wait to see how far this collaboration will take the two companies. Meizu has been well situated in the heart of the Chinese marketplace, where an estimated 1 billion people owned a mobile phone in 2014. As brands and the number of devices and users continue to grow, there may be plenty of room for a new OS and mobile ecosystem for users. Not only within China, but around many other parts of Asia and more.

We are fans of Meizu’s latest hardware, scoring the MX4 Pro fairly well in our recent review. Running a Samsung built Exynos 5 Octa processor, 3GB of RAM and more. The device is not flashy, but is solid and excels where it matters. This description has been a truth for the company as a whole, we hope that a partnership with Alibaba will not detract from that appeal.

What do you say, do you think a partnership with Alibaba will improve the Meizu experience?

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Alibaba Group Announces US$590 Million Strategic Investment in Meizu

Hangzhou, China, February 9, 2015 – Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE: BABA) and
Meizu Technology Corporation Limited (“Meizu”) announced today that Alibaba Group has
agreed to invest US$590 million for a minority stake in Meizu, one of China’s leading
smartphone manufacturers.

This investment will be subject to customary closing conditions.

As a result of the investment, Alibaba Group and Meizu will collaborate at both strategic and
business levels to achieve a deeper integration of Meizu’s hardware and Alibaba Group’s
mobile operating system. 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. Alibaba Group’s online shopping
marketplaces will also become distribution channels for Meizu’s smartphones and other
devices.

“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,” said Jian WANG, Chief Technology Officer of Alibaba
Group.

“This strategic collaboration with Alibaba Group will enable Meizu to further develop our
smartphone business and our smart devices ecosystem,” said Meizu’s Chief Executive
Officer, Yongxiang BAI.

Meizu is one of China’s leading smartphone manufacturers known for its technology and
sophisticated product design and features that fulfill consumer needs and requirements. The
Chinese smartphone market is experiencing fast growth, with homegrown brands gaining an
increasing market share. At the end of 2014, China had more than one billion mobile phone
users and about 40 percent of them use smartphones, according to IDC.

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