Alibaba Reportedly Shutdowns Overseas Platform UC News to Shrink Content Globalization Strategy

Alibaba’s overseas news aggregation business UC News has internally announced the halt of operations due to the poor performance in clients and operations, Chinese tech media LatePost reported Tuesday. The members of UC News team will be accepted by Ali Health, an Alibaba-backed company whose market value is close to that of Baidu.

“We will transfer the UC News business,” a people familiar with the matter told LatePost. “However, Alibaba is planning to have 1 billion users in Southeast Asia in the next five years, so we will not easily give up our UC News business.”

At the same time, Alibaba’s video sharing app VMate is reported to tighten up capital investment and lay off employees. Alibaba invested $100 million in VMate in May 2019, which is owned by subsidiary UC Web.

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A spokesperson of VMate said the company is making new plans for various businesses as Alibaba kicks off its new fiscal year.

“We will insist on following the plan we have for overseas business, and we are still working on the details,” LatePost cited the spokesperson.

Alibaba Innovation also responded to the report Tuesday evening that the company will stick to exploring and developing overseas businesses. “We are firmly developing our overseas business, and will continue to put more efforts to create value for users.”

However, Alibaba hasn’t directly responded to questions about whether UC News has shut its operations and whether the short video product VMate plans to lay off personnel.