Alibaba Group today announced the long-rumored investment in Sina Weibo, the microblogging service under Sina Corp., taking an 18% stake for $586 million. Hence Sina Weibo is valued at approximately $3.26 billion — the market cap of Sina as a whole, including an online news service and Weibo, was about $3.33 billion before the announcement. Alibaba Group is also granted  the option to increase its stake in Sina Weibo to 30% at an unspecified time in the future.

The two parties also plan to cooperate on data, online payments, online marketing and user account connectivity, and explore potential in social e-commerce, according to Alibaba’s statement.

Sina Weibo announced 500 million registered users in the past February, with 47 million daily active users, and has rolled out a plenty of advertising products to monetize the leading microblogging service in China.

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Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com