Alibaba seeks new partners for content

( Agencies ) Updated: 2014-10-30 10:08:18

Movie market

Alibaba seeks new partners for content
Alibaba founder biopic could be underway
Alibaba seeks new partners for content
Want to dress like Jack Ma? Wear a sweater! 
The nation will be the world's largest movie market as the middle class expands to 200 million people, Ma says.

"They need great cultural products," he says.

Alibaba released its first set-top box in collaboration with Wasu Media Holding Co in September 2013. A month later, it announced another box under the Tmall brand, the name of one of Alibaba's biggest e-commerce platforms.

Users of Alibaba's set-top boxes can watch TV channels and high-definition movies, shop online and play games. Alibaba buys rights from studios that control films and TV content to show them online for a fee, often by territory.

In April, Alibaba led a $1.22 billion investment in online video site Youku Tudou Inc, which formed a partnership with Walt Disney Co to market Captain America: The Winter Soldier in China.

Alibaba also agreed in March to pay HK$6.24 billion ($804 million) for a 60 percent stake in ChinaVision Media Group Ltd. The company, renamed Alibaba Pictures Group Ltd, said in August its new management uncovered possible accounting flaws.

Ma also says the company is interested in coming together with Apple Inc's new Apple Pay service.

Ma told the audience not to worry about government film restrictions in China, with movies providing an important way to educate the nation's youth.

"If the heroes die, nobody wants to be the heroes. I never see a movie in China in which a hero survived," he says. "I think all of the societies should be optimistic. I think all of the societies should make the heroes survive."

Alibaba plans to expand in Europe, the US and Asia, Ma said during the IPO road show in Hong Kong. Ma, a 50-year-old former school teacher, is China's richest person with a net worth of $27.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

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