Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba, just sank $590 million into up-and-coming smartphone maker, Meizu, to grow its YunOS Android fork.
The company will work with Meizu, which currently offers its own FlyneOS, to market phones to those already entrenched in the Alibaba market. Aside from e-commerce, Alibaba has a huge baking and mobile payment infrastructure in the country.
YunOS is an Android fork, which means that it is based off the Android Open Source Project. Alibaba, like many other Chinese companies, has its own Android app store, much of which is infested with malware and pirated software. Meizu creates devices similar to those from Lenovo, Huawei, ZTE and Xiaomi, but has a much more limited reach.
The deal, which will see Alibaba take a minority interest in Meizu, will also bring Meizu’s smartphones, which include the MX3, MX4 and MX4 Pro, to Alibaba’s online stores.