China will have its own alternative to Netflix as Alibaba plans to create the country’s own version of Netflix and HBO with a new streaming service called Tmall Box Office. Alibaba Group will try to serve 600 million families in China who want to have more entertaining content.

Jack Ma has been to Hollywood to acquire content for the new service, which will be offered in about two months through Alibaba’s set-top box and smart televisions that will carry its operating system. The content for the service will be produced by the company itself and some bought from other countries.

Alibaba is spending millions of cash to satisfy its video content buying spree. It hopes to appear head to head with Tencent for China’s $US7.6 billion online video market. The company’s subsidiary, Alibaba Pictures, has raked in $US2.03 billion after a stake sale in Hong Kong to help fund the content purchases in June.

“We want to create a whole new family entertainment experience,” Liu Chunning, President of Alibaba’s digital entertainment business, said. “Our goal is to become like Netflix in the US, HBO in the US.”

There’s also a possibility that Alibaba will delve into the e-commerce businesses based on brands that actors wear in shows and movies. Liu added that the company would be open to working with Hollywood.

On Monday, Alibaba Picture’s shares increased to 0.3 per cent to $HK3.07 in Hong Kong trading. Meanwhile, Netflix declined 1.1 per cent to $US654.02 at the close in New York.

Yu Le Bao, Alibaba’s crowdfunding platform, has raised 530 million yuan ($110 million) and invested in 24 projects.

China’s online video market value is predicted to triple to an estimated 90 billion yuan by 2018, according to Shanghai-based internet consultant IResearch.

A Chinese media company that’s backed by Ma has also been in touch with Netflix as the latter hopes to expand its reach in China.