Alibaba Pictures Group is to take a strategic stake in Chinese film investment company Hehe Pictures, which is largely owned by a number of Chinese movie talent.
The value of the transaction was not disclosed, though Alibaba said that it would own a 30% stake and be Hehe’s second largest shareholder behind founder and general manager Yang Wei. It made a previous investment earlier this year.
Hehe Pictures, which also includes actor Chen Kun, singer Yand Kun, and director Cao Baoping as owner, has invested in movies including “The Mermaid,” “Chongqing Hot Pot,” “Skiptrace” and “Cock and Bull,” and have grossed $695 million (RMB 4.8 billion) at the box office. It now plans to invest in a further 20 pictures.
“We look forward to stepping up our fruitful partnership in terms of film production, promotion and distribution. By creating a healthy ecosystem for financing in the film industry, we hope to support more filmmakers and boost the development of the industry,” said Zhang Qiang, CEO of Alibaba Pictures.