Headlines from China: Alibaba Group’s New Membership Program Aims to Boost Market Share in Digital Entertainment 

Alibaba Group’s New Membership Program Aims to Boost Market Share in Digital Entertainment 

On August 8, Alibaba Group launched a new paid membership package called “88 VIP.” By paying an annual fee of 888 yuan ($129), one can gain access to and enjoy benefits of Alibaba’s various services, including video platform Youku, music platform Xiami, food delivery platform Ele.me and e-commerce sites Taobao and Tmall. Existing Taobao members can also upgrade to become an “88 VIP” by redeeming 1000 points and paying only 88 yuan ($13). Similar to Amazon Prime in the U.S., Alibaba’s new membership package aims to encourage customer loyalty and bring consumers from its e-commerce sites to its digital entertainment platforms. Read more on Sohu

‘Hello Mr. Billionaire’ Accused of Copyright Infringement 

On August 8, Chinese screenwriter Wang Yuhan published an article on WeChat, accusing Hello Mr. Billionaire for illegally copying plots of her internet drama series Ji Cheng Zhe (The Heir). Wang claimed that although the main plot of the film came from the 1985 Universal movie Brewster’s Millions, some details in the film that depict Chinese notions of wealth are stolen from Ji Cheng Zhe. Currently, Hello Mr. Billionaire team has denied Wang’s accusation. A law firm that represents Hello Mr. Billionaire also released a  statement, in which they compared the plots in Hello Mr. Billionaire, Brewster’s Millions and Ji Cheng Zhe to prove that Wang’s accusation is false. Read more on Mtime

‘Mile 22’ Premiered in LA and May Be Released in China

American action thriller film Mile 22 recently premiered in Los Angeles. The film’s cast and crew members, including Mark Wahlberg, Lauren Cohan, Ronda Rousey, Iko Uwais and Lee Cha-rin (CL) attended the premiere event. The film’s directed by Peter Berg whose previous works, such as Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon and Patriots Day, are based on actual events, but Mile 22 tells a fictional story about an elite CIA task force that has to escort a high-priority asset 22 miles to an extraction point while being hunted by terrorists. The film is produced by STX entertainment and China’s Huayi Brothers, and will likely be released in China. Read more on Mtime