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Monday, February 9, 2015

Alibaba places China smartphone business bet with $590 million Meizu deal, (NASDAQ: AAPL)

China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is taking a $590 million stake in an obscure domestic smartphone maker as the e-commerce giant tests ways to expand its mobile operating system in a shrinking, cut-throat handset market.Extending a previously muted push into hardware, Alibaba said on Monday it will purchase an unspecified minority stake in smartphone maker Meizu Technology Co. Dwarfed by rivals like Xiaomi Inc, privately owned Meizu's slice of China's smartphone market is estimated by analysts at below 2 percent.The deal, unlike U.S. rival Inc's foray into smartphones with its own-brand Fire Phone, is designed to help Alibaba push its mobile operating system within China through Meizu's handsets. In return, Zhuhai, Guangdong-based Meizu will get access to Alibaba's e-commerce sales channels and other resources, the companies said in a joint statement.For China's e-commerce king, with a market value of $213 billion market value, the $590 million price tag may be a costly entry fee. Meizu's reach in China, and likely that of the Alibaba operating system, is severely blunted by domestic leaders Xiaomi, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and Lenovo Group, as well as multinational giants Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.

Apple Inc. (Apple) designs, manufactures and markets mobile communication and media devices, personal computers, and portable digital music players, and a variety of related software, services, peripherals, networking solutions, and third-party digital content and applications. Shares of AAPL fell by 0.84% or $-1.01/share to $118.93. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $73.05 and as high as $120.51. On average, 53276700 shares of AAPL exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 43706568.