Alibaba Pictures Eyes Pact With Giant Hengdian Studios

HONG KONG — Alibaba Pictures Group, the film production and investment arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has unveiled plans to set up a joint venture with Hengdian, the world’s largest studio facility.

Alibaba Pictures signed a letter of intent this weekend with Hengdian Chinese Film Industrial Park, to set up a film and TV company.

Alibaba Pictures now has a handful of production and finance deals with other independent producers in Hong Kong and China.

Earlier this year it struck deals with Wong Kar-wai and his Block 2 Films company, though details have still not been revealed. It has a seven year option with Hong Kong-based We Pictures to invest in the production of up to five movies in which Peter Chan Ho-sun, who has a role as producer, director or screenwriter. Its first film under that deal was child kidnapping drama “Dearest,” which debuted in Venice and is currently on commercial release in China. Alibaba Pictures also has a five-year, five-film deal with Taiwan-based Star Ritz International Entertainment covering the films of Giddens Ko and producer Angie Chai Zhi Ping.

Alibaba Pictures Group was formed earlier this year when Alibaba acquired the Hong Kong-listed ChinaVision Media company. Its shares have been suspended since mid-August as auditors probe possible breaches of financial reporting.

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