Business / Companies

Actress takes 9% stake in Alibaba Pictures

(Agencies) Updated: 2015-01-28 07:46

Chinese actress Zhao Wei has taken a stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's film division, bringing some celebrity power to a company that warned on Monday it could rack up losses of as much as HK$600 million ($77.41 million) for 2014.

The star of Shaolin Soccer and Red Cliff and Huang Youlong, her husband, paid more than HK$3 billion for 9.18 percent of Alibaba Pictures Group Ltd, according to Hong Kong stock exchange filings.

Zhao, considered one of the country's most bankable stars, and her husband made the acquisition through holding company Gold Ocean Media Inc in December.

Online giant Alibaba bought and renamed the film-making company for more than $800 million last year, as it expands into movies and entertainment content.

This month, Alibaba Pictures unveiled its first movie project under its new ownership, a romance to be produced by acclaimed Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai.

The moves came as Internet rivals Tencent Holdings Ltd and Baidu Inc also began to explore forays into movie-making and film content.

But Alibaba Pictures itself continues to struggle. In August, the company disclosed accounting irregularities after an internal review, and last week it said it hoped to replace its auditors.

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