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Alibaba steps into entertainment industry  

文化中国更名阿里影业 李连杰任独立非执行董事

2014-06-26 15:29 Ecns.cn Web Editor: Gu Liping

(ECNS) -- The Hong Kong-listed China Vision Media Group Ltd (CVMG) has been renamed Alibaba Film Group, after the e-commerce giant became its biggest shareholder, and the film star Jet Li will act as an independent non-executive director of the new group.

Alibaba paid HK$6.24 billion ($800 million) for 59.32 percent of CVMG's shares, according to a statement on Wednesday.

CVMG had previously obtained investment priorities in the movies of Hong Kong film directors Wong Kar-wai and Peter Ho-sun Chan, as well as Hong Kong actor Stephen Chow.

This is not Alibaba's first foray into film. Yule Bao, or entertainment treasure, the entertainment cousin of its popular Yu'e Bao investment product, is being used to help back a number of upcoming movies.

This month, Alibaba invested 500 million yuan ($80 million) in business media group 21st Century Media. It also launched a strategic cooperation Tuesday with Shanghai Dragon TV after it bought a 50 percent stake in Guangzhou Evergrande Football Club, one of China's top soccer teams.

The investments may be part of an effort by Alibaba to extend its core offerings beyond e-commerce and into online entertainment ahead of its IPO.

Foreign media said the investment research firm Morningstar expects the Chinese e-commerce giant's IPO to raise $26 billion. That would make it the biggest IPO in history, topping Agricultural Bank of China's record $22.1 billion offering in 2010.

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