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Alibaba Buys 50% Stake In Soccer Team Guangzhou Evergrande

Alibaba Group chairman Jack Ma announced yesterday at a brief press conference that the company is going to buy a 50% stake in Guangzhou Evergrande Football Club, one of biggest soccer teams in China. The value of the deal which was not disclosed, is reportedly worth 1.2 billion yuan ($192 million), according to the official Chinese state news agency Xinhua,.

This new investment may be part of an effort by Alibaba Group to extend its core business beyond e-commerce and into online entertainment ahead of its IPO, as it continues to face more competition from other e-commerce companies like JD.com, which recently held a successful IPO.

Guangzhou Evergrande is one of the best soccer teams in China and is headed by Marcello Lippi, the former Italian national team coach.

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