Alibaba Group is stepping up investments in the entertainment industry with the formation of a new media group along with a fund of US$1.48 billion for new projects.
The change consolidates the Chinese e-commerce giant’s media empire into the Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Group, which will include video website Youku Tudou, web browser UCWeb, Alibaba Pictures Group and the company’s gaming, literature, music and digital business units.
The new units will be overseen by UCWeb’s former CEO Yongfu Yu who will serve as chairman and CEO of the Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Group, reporting directly to Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang, according to a news report by Reuters.
Victor Koo, who co-founded Youku, and ran the merged Youku Tudou, will run capital raising and management for the investment fund.
“The cultural and entertainment ecosystem would integrate Alibaba’s e-commerce, finance, logistics and cloud ecosystems to make the whole Alibaba ecosystem more rounded, offering a better rounded experience and service for Alibaba’s users and clients,” the letter said according to the reports.
The company declined to mention specific investment projects, saying that the funds will be used across their digital media and entertainment businesses.