Alibaba Pictures to create a USD 299 M film and entertainment fund

Alibaba Pictures Group (Alibaba Pictures), Alibaba’s film business arm, announced on Monday that it would pool RMB two billion (USD 299 million) to establish a cultural industry investment fund, to be invested into film and entertainment companies.

One fourth of the RMB two billion fund comes from Alibaba Pictures, and the rest is from Gopher Asset capital management Ltd., Co. based in Wuhu city in South China’s Anhui province.

The new fund will match the vision of Alibaba Pictures’ fund, to focus on film production and promotion, IP resources like contracted film stars, and cutting-edge technology.

Alibaba Pictures was built upon an acquisition from Alibaba Group, which purchased a 60% stake in ChinaVision Media for USD 805 million in 2014. The purchased assets became the basis of Alibaba pictures, which became the largest Chinese film company by value.

Previous investments made by Alibaba Pictures include acquiring cinema-ticketing software provider Yueke with RMB 830 million last April, and acquiring film-related businesses Taobao Movie and Yulebao from Alibaba – obviously, Alibaba Pictures’ parent company – with USD 520 million last November.

According to Sina Finance, Alibaba Pictures announced recently that it had suffered a net loss of RMB 400 to 450 million in the first half of 2016, a loss which the company attributed to the marketing and promotion of the movie ticketing platform Taopiaopiao, valued at RMB 13.7 billion in May.

Alibaba Pictures now has a market value of HKD 44.2 billion (USD 5.7 billion).

According to the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, China’s box office sales hit RMB 44 billion in 2015, and the number will probably continue to grow in 2016.

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