Alibaba Signs Pact With Shanghai Film Festival

The Shanghai film festival has signed a three year pact with e-commerce giant Alibaba. The deal spans talent development, sponsorship and ticketing.

The 18th edition of the festival runs June 13-21, 2015.

The two parties will jointly establish “a platform that integrates support for newcomers, services and innovation.” Additionally, Alibaba’s Yulebao, a crowdfunding-like savings product will be a festival sponsor, and its Taobao Dianying app will become a channel for festival ticket sales.

The company’s Tmall Magic Box set-top-decoder will extend the festival experience into potentially millions of households’ living rooms, though it did not provide details.

Patrick Liu Chunning, VP of Alibaba Group and president of Alibaba’s digital and entertainment business group, said that in the current year, Yulebao will invest RMB1.2 to 1.5 billion ($195 to $244 million) in film production, hoping for gross box office returns of RMB5 billion ($813 million). In 2014 the unit invested RMB330 million ($54 million) in 12 movie titles which had a combined gross of nearly RMB3 billion ($488 million).

Earlier this week Alibaba revealed that its financial services unit Ant Financial tripled in size last year, reaching RMB 579 billion ($93 billion) in assets under management compared with RMB 185 billion ($30 billion) at the end of 2013.

The fund is China’s largest money market fund. Ant Financial’s Yu’e Bao Internet-based investment platform, had more than 185 million users at the end of 2014, up from 43 million at the end of 2013.

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