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China’s Alibaba Pictures Unveils $300 Million Investment Fund

China-based Alibaba Pictures Group, the studio unit of Jack Ma’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, has unveiled a new $300 million investment fund for the movie and television industry.

Alibaba Pictures is partnering with Wuhu Gopher Asset Management on the fund, called the Hainan Alibaba Pictures Entertainment Industry Investment Fund.

“The fund will focus on investment opportunities of high-quality companies in the movie and television entertainment industry chain, under the four key pillars of production development, celebrity resources, marketing and distribution, and advanced technology,” the partners said in a statement released on Monday.

Alibaba Pictures has invested in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows,” ” Star Trek Beyond” and “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation,” and is partnered with Skydance Media to finance and co-produce the WWII film “Flying Tigers,” with “Braveheart” writer Randall Wallace on board to script.

The partners did not specify whether the fund will target international investments. Alibaba Pictures will contribute a maximum of $75 million to the fund, with $225 million coming from Wuhu Gopher.

“In recent years, the Chinese entertainment industry, which has mainly been driven by movies, has undergone rapid development,” said Alibaba Pictures CEO Zhang Qiang. “Bountiful investment opportunities and immense room for integration have emerged both upstream and downstream of the industry value chain.”

Alibaba Pictures has also invested in three Chinese movies that are in production — “Ferry Man,” “Three Lives Three Worlds Ten Miles of Peach Blossom” and “Ao Jiao Yu Pian Jian.”

The announcement of the investment fund comes three days after Alibaba Pictures warned that its half-year losses will increase. The company blamed increased marketing costs at its online cinema ticketing business Tao Piao Piao, previously known as Taobao Movies.

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