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POST TIME: 2 April, 2016 00:00 00 AM
Alibaba makes play for growing e-sports sector
AFP

Alibaba makes play for growing e-sports sector

AFP, SINGAPORE: Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba will kick off a global e-sports tournament this month, with big prize money up for grabs, as the Internet powerhouse makes a play for the fast-growing industry. Alibaba signed an agreement this week with Singapore-based social networking firm YuuZoo to run the firm's e-sports events in China, including the AliSports World Electronic Sport Games (WESG) kicking off at the end of April and which will offer a total of $5.5 million in prize money. Formed in September, AliSports is spearheading Alibaba's bid to boost its share of China's lucrative sports industry, which is forecast to grow to $814 billion by 2025. "Sports is a multi-billion dollar business in China, with massive growth potential. That is why Alibaba is investing heavily in this vertical," AliSports chief executive Zhang Dazhong said, according to a statement on the YuuZoo website. Marking its entry into the e-sports arena, AliSports will spend $15.4 million alone.