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Yu Yongfu to Exit Alibaba’s Digital Entertainment Group

Yu Yongfu is to step down as chairman of Alibaba’s Digital Entertainment Group with effect from Dec. 1. The move follows weeks of rumors, initially denied, about his departure.

Yu has been reassigned within Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. He will now will head the Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP), a strategic move initiated by Alibaba founder Jack Ma to expand group operations outside China.

Yu previously stepped down from separately listed Alibaba Pictures Group, making way for Fan Luyuan. The Digital Entertainment Group spans both Alibaba Pictures, which has activities including film production, investment, marketing and ticketing, and the Youku Tudou video streaming and production operation.

The chairmanship of the Digital Entertainment Group will be rotated from now on. Yang Weidong, head of Youku Tudou and Alibaba’s music operations, will be its first rotating chairman.

“Yu has surprised us with his excellent leadership in promoting the strategy and business consolidation of the entertainment division,” Daniel Zhang, Alibaba CEO, said in an internal message. “We believe he will give us another surprise in building the global investment system.”

Yu held several tech and financial roles within Alibaba before last year consolidating multiple executive roles at Alibaba Pictures and the Digital Entertainment Group. Before joining Alibaba, Yu worked at investment group Legend Capital.

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