Alibaba forays into Hollywood

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is now eyeing the global entertainment market.

The group announced at a Beijing press conference on Sunday that Alibaba Pictures Group had formed a “comprehensive strategic alliance” with Amblin Partners, the Hollywood content company led by director and producer Steven Spielberg, to co-produce and finance films for international and Chinese audiences.

As part of the deal, Alibaba Pictures will acquire a minority stake in Amblin Partners and take a seat on its board of directors. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Both parties will also collaborate in the marketing, distribution and merchandising of Amblin Partners movies in China.

Jack Ma, Alibaba Group executive chairman, called Spielberg one of the world’s most influential filmmakers, adding that the collaboration “can serve as a cultural bridge and have a positive impact on the next generation of Chinese consumers.”

As Amblin Partners’ first Chinese partner, the partnership is “an important milestone in our globalisation strategy to reach Chinese and global audiences alike,” said Xiaofeng Shao, Alibaba Pictures chairman in a statement.

Spielberg, chairman of Amblin Partners, also said the strategic alliance is to “entertain audiences through creativity and imagination both here and around the world.”

““We can bring more China to America and bring more America to China,” added Spielberg.