• Alibaba founder and executive chairman Jack Ma.

Alibaba founder and executive chairman Jack Ma. (Photo : Getty Images News)

Chines e-commerce giant Alibaba will be the exclusive online broadcaster for the upcoming Asian Winter Games.

Major Deal

Alibaba made the announcement on Monday through a statement it released to the press. The company said that it will be broadcasting the games through its Youko online video service, Caixin Global reported.

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The Asian Winter Games are to be held in the Japanese cities of Sapporo and Obihiro from Feb. 19 to 26.

The company said that the deal serves as a major milestone, as it is the first time that a private company was given new media broadcasting rights for the games. Previously, the rights would be given to state broadcaster CCTV, which has the widest national reach.

In the last five years, however, China saw the rise of privately owned online video services like Youko. Since then, these companies have been seeking to bag major broadcasting deals like sporting events.

Alibaba did not disclose how much it paid to secure the deal. But spokesman Wang Jingyu assured that their subsidiary Alibaba Sports did not go into lengthy bidding wars in the process.

Olympic Partner

The Asian Winter Games deal comes just after Alibaba announced that it has secured a long-term partnership with the International Olympic Committee. The company's founder and CEO Jack Ma announced the deal during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, China Sports Beat reported.

Under the agreement, Alibaba will provide the IOC with cloud and e-commerce support for the next 12 years until 2028. the period covers the next three Summer Games and three Winter games.

Alibaba is also currently part of the Olympic Channel platform, broadcasting Olympics-related content online throughout the year.

Ma called the deal a historic one, marking the first time a Chinese company was able to get such a major deal.

Alibaba is one of the many private companies making the effort to promote winter sports in China ahead of the country hosting the Winter Olympics in 2022.