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Alibaba announces new deals in television, movie industries

Updated: 2015-06-15 07:44
By Shi Jing in Shanghai (China Daily)

E-commerce mammoth Alibaba Group Holding is building a stronger presence in the entertainment industry, announcing two more strategic partnerships to celebrate the first anniversary of Yulebao, its online investment platform for digital entertainment products.

Shanghai-based Yoozoo Culture and Media Co is working with Yulebao in the production of the film The Three Body. Alibaba excels at the analysis of big data, so it is a strong partner for movie production and distribution, said Kong Xiangzhao, Yoozoo's chief executive officer.

"The crowdfunding platform of Yulebao helps to solve financing difficulties, which most movies will come across in the production process. We will also gain more profits by selling peripheral products on Alibaba's e-commerce platform," Kong said.

Liu Chunning, president of Alibaba Digital Entertainment Group, said the central government's Internet Plus initiative has provided a perfect backdrop for developing the Chinese movie industry. The strategy seeks to encourage the application of the Internet in traditional industries to boost efficiency and productivity.

Yulebao invested 510 million yuan ($82 million) in Chinese movies last year, realizing 3.7 billion yuan in box office receipts, or 8 percent of the entire Chinese box office in 2014.

Also announced during the anniversary celebration was a strategic partnership with Hong Kong's Television Broadcasts. According to TVB authorities, they will reach to a wider audience both on Chinese mainland and in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Further details of the cooperative deal will be disclosed in the next three months.

Alibaba's Liu said they will work with TVB to co-produce TV series and movies. They will also sell more derivative products on Alibaba's e-commerce platform.

The cooperation with Alibaba comes just in time, as TVB reported the first decline in the Chinese mainland market last year. According to its annual results, TVB's total sales revenue on the mainland dropped to HK$383 million ($49 million) from HK$402 million a year earlier. TVB's total income was HK$5.37 billion last year.

Shijing@chinadaily.com.cn

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