Alibaba Pictures Group Launches Talent Agency

Jack Ma’s Alibaba is stepping up investments in China’s entertainment industry with the launch of two new entities.

Alibaba Pictures Group is launching a new talent agency and a “variety show production and distribution” company, according to a new filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Alibaba Pictures, the movie, and technology arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, announced Thursday the formation of the two joint ventures between Zhejiang Dongyang Alibaba Pictures and 1 Verge Information, both of which are subsidiaries of APG. 1 Verge is also known as the owner of ‘China’s Youtube’, video hosting service Youku.

The two ventures, described as “Variety Show JV” and “Talent Agency JV”, will receive RMB $89 million ($13 million) worth of investment from the Alibaba subsidiaries. The new businesses follow the announcement of an artist management company, also a JV between Alibaba Pictures and 1 Verge – in March.

According to the filing, Variety Show JV will produce broadcasts which “provide information, reviews, and commentaries about movies and drama series, with plenty of amusement”.

Since its inception in 2014, the Hangzhou-based company has gone on an entertainment shopping spree, with investments in film companies and studios both domestically and worldwide.

In June, APG acquired a majority stake in Indian online ticketing platform TicketNew for an undisclosed amount, marking a further push into entertainment by the firm.

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The studio also co-produced blockbusters including the action film ‘Wolf Warriors 2’, now the top grossing film ever released in China.Additional reporting Amber Ziye Wang