Taobao Shopping Is What Makes Alibaba’s Smart TV Business Different

Taobao Shopping Is What Makes Alibaba’s Smart TV Business Different

By Tracey Xiang on July 23, 2013


Alibaba announced the long-rumored custom Android system for TV and a set-top box, Wasu Rainbow, today, with the latter going on sale in two to three months. It partners with Wasu Media, one of the several state-authorized content providers, to stream online videos onto Smart TV screens. As to the Smart TV sets, manufacturers including Skyworth and Changhong have been on board to make TVs with the system. Alipay, Alibaba’s payments service, has been integrated into it that users currently can make orders from Juhuasuan, its group-buying service, from such an Alibaba TV. But Taobao and Tmall haven’t been available yet. Just like all other Android-powered Smart TVs, Alibaba’s includes an app market and allows displaying content from smartphones.

While Chinese players are still fighting on the battlefield of smartphone — Alibaba is also working on it with third-party manufacturing partners, the TV screen is the next they are moving to.

The search query “Internet set-top box” returns thousands of results on Taobao. While most look just like box, some are as small as and shaped like a ordinary USB drive. They are all powered by Android, and can display any content on the Web or in an Android device. The average are priced at from merely 100 yuan to several hundred yuan.

Among them well-known brand names include LeTVXiaomiPPTV. LeTV has launched a Smart TV, called Super TV though, claiming it has sold 10 thousand pieces last month. Xiaomi is likely to launch one soon too.


About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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