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Alibaba tipped to invest in one of India's top phone makers

Alibaba tipped to invest in one of India's top phone makers
Daniel Cooper
Daniel Cooper|@danielwcooper|May 8, 2015 10:22 AM

Alibaba's sitting on the better part of $20 billion, and it's using some of that cash to buy small, yet notable, pieces of the tech industry. So far, it's thrown money at Ouya, Meizu and Snapchat, but now Reuters believes that the Chinese e-commerce firm is going to buy a stake in Micromax. It's believed that the firm is looking to pick up a 20 percent stake in the Indian smartphone maker, with the deal reportedly worth around $1.2 billion. The idea, according to Reuters secret sources, is that Alibaba would use Micromax as a trojan horse, through which it could get its online sales business into the country.

India is currently going through a boom that has seen it emerge as one of the biggest new markets for smartphones. The country is enough of a tantalizing prospect for phone makers that it's already caused a contentious falling-out between Cyanogen and OnePlus. Micromax is one of the biggest domestic players, and if the deal goes through, new devices could come with Alibaba's mobile payments software pre-installed. Of course, right now this is all just rumor, speculation and murmurings, but it makes a big pile of sense, and makes us wonder if Alibaba's planning any more purchases in the near future.

[Image Credit: ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images]

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Alibaba tipped to invest in one of India's top phone makers