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Alibaba Set to Court Hollywood

A delegation of senior executives from Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant that floated on the New York Stock Exchange last month, is to tour Hollywood in the coming week.

The delegation is headed by Alibaba founder Jack Ma himself, and, according to Bloomberg, also includes Zhang Qiang, head of Alibaba Pictures Group, and Liu Chunning, VP of digital entertainment.

They are expected to meet Sony’s Michael Lynton and Paramount’s Brad Grey, among others.

On the agenda are both content acquisitions and the possible purchase of stakes in Hollywood entities.

Alibaba is keen to expand the content it can offer through its set-top boxes and also to stimulate sales of physical goods and merchandise. It also has a 20% stake in Youku Tudou, one of China’s biggest online video providers.

Alibaba Pictures has strung together a series of production and finance deals with talent in Hong Kong and China including Wong Kar-wai, Stephen Chow and Peter Chan.

The unit has had its shares suspended from trading on the Hong Kong Stock Market since mid-August, when Alibaba discovered financial irregularities allegedly stemming from its previous existence as Chinavision. Alibaba will announce the findings of the auditors in November.

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