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Alibaba With Vmate to Bolster Presence in Indian Video Space

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In a bid to strengthen its Indian footprint, Alibaba (BABA - Free Report) is now eyeing the country’s video market.

This is evident from its latest move wherein it has reportedly invested $100 million in its own subsidiary — UCWeb’s — social video app called Vmate.

Notably, Vmate is a video app, popular for its short video sharing service. Additionally, the app helps in video editing and downloading. It also offers 3-dimensional face emojis.

Alibaba with its investment in Vmate is aggressively looking to enhance its video services in India, which has turned out to be one of the biggest markets for online video consumption. This, in turn, is likely to help improve its adoption rate among Indians.

Video Market in India Holds Promise

Online video market in India is riding on the growing proliferation of internet and smartphone usage. Moreover, availability of internet data services at lower prices has also spurred growth in online video viewership.

Per data from Zenith media agency, the average time spent daily by an Indian in watching online videos stood at 52 minutes in 2018, which is expected to shoot up to 67 minutes in 2019.

A report from IHS Markit shows that online video market is expected to reach $1.9 billion by 2022 witnessing a CAGR of 36% between 2019 and 2022.

Ample growth opportunities in this market are alluring enough to attract many companies for making inroads into it. Apart from Alibaba, ByteDance, Alphabet’s (GOOGL - Free Report) Google and Facebook (FB - Free Report) to name a few are leaving no stone unturned to bolster their presence in this burgeoning market.

ByteDance’s TikTok has gained strong popularity and is currently in use by more than 120 million Indians. Further, Google’s YouTube has become the most used online video platform in India and it steadily sees a boost in its unique user base.

Meanwhile, Facebook’s Instagram is also gaining traction from users with its improving features in the booming Indian video space.

Alibaba’s entry into this market with Vmate is likely to further intensify the competition. Also, Vmate, which has 30 million users around the globe, places Alibaba well to rapidly penetrate this market with the aid of its recent funding.

Deepening Focus on India

Alibaba’s latest step bodes well for its heightening focus on India. Its plans to expand business in the country strategically fit the growth opportunities the place has on offer.

Apart from this latest move, Alibaba has put its money on video intelligence platform, Vidooly, in the beginning of this year.

Additionally, its significant investment of $200 million in Paytm Mall has strengthened its position in India. The Paytm Mall is modelled on TMall, China’s dominant e-commerce platform.

Further, it has made a huge capex on food-ordering app Zomato, the online ticketing platform TicktNew, online grocer BigBasket and the e-commerce platform, Snapdeal.

Zacks Rank & Stock to Consider

Currently, Alibaba carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked stock in the broader technology sector is PayPal Holdings, Inc. (PYPL - Free Report) , holding a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Long-term earnings growth rate for PayPal is currently pegged at 17.91%.

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