Youku will feed China’s growing demand for international content. Source: AP

Alibaba offers to buy China video site Youku in $3.6 billion deal

In this Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013 photo, Zhu Huilong, senior vice president of Youku Tudou, answers questions during an interview at the Youku headquarters in Beijing, China. In China, pirate DVDs in stores and on the street were traditionally the fastest way to get access to a film, and cheaper than going to the theater. A few years ago, piracy also dominated online. Today, China’s major video streaming sites have deals with Hollywood studios and others and are filled with licensed content. To protect their investments, a group of video sites announced in November they had teamed up with the Motion Picture Association of America to sue other Chinese sites they accuse of copyright violations. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Pic: AP.

HONG KONG (AP) — E-commerce giant Alibaba says it is offering to buy up the rest of Chinese video streaming site Youku Tudou, in its latest move to branch out beyond its core business of online shopping.

Alibaba Group Holdings said Friday that it already owns 18.3 percent of Youku Toudou’s U.S.-listed shares and has proposed to buy the remaining stock for $26.60 in cash per share.

The offer price is 30.2 percent higher than Youku’s last closing price on the New York Stock Exchange.

After subtracting Youku’s approximately $1 billion in cash on hand, Alibaba is paying about $3.6 billion to buy the remaining stake.

Alibaba has been expanding into films and the deal gives it a platform to broadcast its content to China’s growing ranks of middle-class consumers.