Alibaba Group, Asia’s biggest online retailer, has agreed to buy a majority stake in Hong Kong-listed lottery technology provider AGTech Holdings for HK 2.4 billion ($308 million).
The deal which will be processed through Alibaba investment subsidiary, Ali Fortune Holdings will see the retailer enter the rapidly growing Chinese lottery sector.
Issuing a public filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Ali Fortune declared that it would look to acquire 59.45% of AGTech equity.
At present AGTech is estimated to provide technology services to 80% of China’s provincial lotteries. AGTech lottery provisions include player management systems, booking terminals, hardware maintenance and software development.
The purchase of a majority stake in AGTech continues Alibaba Group’s ongoing strategy of diversifying its products and services. Throughout 2015, Founder Jack Ma stated that the company had to look beyond e-commerce to compete against Western technology giants Google, Facebook and Apple.
Business analysts report that Alibaba governance sees great cross-over potential between the growing Chinese lottery sector and its digital services.
Asian Technology commentators have speculated that Alibaba will likely aim to improve AGTech’s digital capabilities by integrating an e-commerce rewards system for the purpose of driving lottery customer engagement and value.