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Make no mistake, streaming is big business. So big that those with no experience of it are getting in on the action. Alibaba, China's online retailing giant, has announced it will soon launch its own streaming service modelled on Netflix and HBO.

"Our goal is to become like HBO in the United States, to become like Netflix in the United States," Patrick Liu, president of Alibaba's digital entertainment group, told a seminar in Shanghai.

It makes sense, seeing as Alibaba is China's equivalent of Amazon. (It's also where lots of retailers buy cheap goods wholesale to flog on.) It also already has online portals to music and games, and own a stake in film production company Chinavision, so it seems a logical step.

The service will be called TMall Box Office, or TBO. It will offer premium on-demand video content that viewers will pay to watch.

There's no word on if the firm will launch the service outside of China, or if it will start making its own programmes. Watch this space...

Source: Netflix

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