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Alibaba's media arm to pump HK$5bn to promote HK's cultural scene

Alibaba's media arm to pump HK$5bn to promote HK's cultural scene

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Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Group (DME) has pledged to pump HK$5bn in the next five years as part of a broader plan to revitalise Hong Kong’s once-flourishing cultural scene.   

Alibaba’s subsidiary media brand Youku, Alibaba Pictures, and other businesses in Alibaba’s Digital Media and Entertainment Group will allocate the funding across locally produced TV dramas, movies, events, and training young creatives in the city’s cultural hub. 

The investment fund will also make Hong Kong the second base for Alibaba Pictures. “Filmmakers who are rooted in the city’s culture, possess a blend of Eastern aesthetics and international perspective will be the key to maintaining our distinctive competitiveness in the global motion picture market,” said Alibaba Pictures’ President Jie Li. 

The initiative titled “Hong Kong Cultural and Art Industry Revitalisation Programme,” is done by DME in partnership with a group of local industry players, including Edko Films, BenXiaoHai Media, Mandarin Motion Pictures, Huanxi Media Group, Media Asia Group, Universe Entertainment and Culture Group, Meiya Entertainment, One Cool Group, TVB, Shaw Brothers Pictures and Emperor Motion Pictures. 

Riding on the popularity of the sequel of "News Queen", Youku and TVB will create a sequel with the original cast "News Queen 2", "Black Moonlight" created by the creative team is currently being filmed, and the classic "Forensic Pioneer 6" returns.  

On the other hand, Hong Kong-listed Alibaba Pictures is investing in Hong Kong movies and dramas including “The Trier of Fact,” “The Last Dance,” “Customs Frontline,” “In The Light Of Dark,” “Behind The Scene,” “Time Still Turns The Pages,” “Invincible Swordsman,” “Without Remorse,” “Endless Battle 2,” “The Grey Men 2,” and “My Date With A Vampire.” 

The programme is also facilitated by Invest Hong Kong in relation to providing assistance in setting up offices and starting businesses in Hong Kong, as well as arranging to participate in various networking events to meet the local trade and representatives of relevant associations. 

Hong Kong's tourism and cultural chief Kevin Yeung said during the opening ceremony, that China's "14th Five-Year Plan" outlines the development of Hong Kong into a centre for cultural and artistic exchanges between China and foreign countries. "We actively integrate into the overall development of the country, strengthen cooperation between the mainland and Hong Kong in the cultural and creative industries, and promote excellent Chinese culture to go global."

"Alibaba Pictures will use Hong Kong as its second headquarters and officially become a part of Hong Kong's film and television entertainment industry. In the future, we eagerly look forward to Alibaba Entertainment Group and the Hong Kong film and television industry jointly developing new cooperation models and exploring business areas, cultivating outstanding film and television talents," he added.

“We will support a new generation of Hong Kong actors, allowing more creative talents from Hong Kong to thrive in Mainland China and provide greater opportunities for young talent, while at the same time, preserving and continuing Hong Kong’s unique pop culture,” Ying Xie, Youku’s vice president said during the opening launch ceremony. 

This comes in line with Hong Kong government’s effort to support the local creative sector, including the establishment of Film Development Council in 2007, followed by the launch of the CreateHK office in 2009. The culture and creative arts sector contributed 4.5% to Hong Kong’s economy in 2022 and supported 6.1% of jobs in the city, according to government official statistics.  

MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to Alibaba for more information. 

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