Alibaba Group Holding will launch an online video streaming service in China in about two months, hoping to emulate Netflix and HBO, the firm's head of digital entertainment said.
The service will be called 'TBO', or Tmall Box Office, with content bought from China and other countries, as well as in-house productions, Alibaba's Patrick Liu said.
TBO will launch into a competitive online video market in China, where companies are spending billions of dollars to buy media content to attract enough viewers to become dominant.
Alibaba's new service will go up against the likes of Tencent Holdings, Baidu's iQiyi, Sohu.com and Leshi Internet Information & Technology Corp Beijing (LeTV).
"Our mission, the mission of all of Alibaba, is to redefine home entertainment," said Liu. "Our goal is to become like HBO in the US, to become like Netflix in the US."
It was not immediately clear how the service would fit with Youku Tudou, one of China's biggest video streaming platforms in which Alibaba bought a 16.5% stake last year.
However, unlike the majority of domestic rivals, about 90% of TBO's content will be paid for, either by monthly subscription or on a show-by-show basis, Liu said. The remaining 10% would be free.
Netflix itself is also considering an entry into China, a notoriously difficult task for foreign Internet companies.