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Alibaba Seeks Management Integration in Digital Entertainment

Yang Weidong, president of Alibaba-owned video-streaming platform Youku, has additionally been named president at Ali Music, the online music firm that is part of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s digital entertainment group.

In a related move, Alibaba Pictures’ president Fan Luyuan now also becomes president of live-event ticketing platform Damai.

Alibaba said that the strategic moves are intended to further integrate the diverse businesses, and to deliver better user experience for audiences in China.

“The reshuffling is part of a multiphase push for a unified entertainment strategy and stronger synergies,” Alibaba said in a statement. In particular, the company is looking to boost the integration of Ali Music’s cross-platform operations with Youku and to improve the concert-going experience for Damai customers.

“In the year and a half since Alibaba Digital Media & Entertainment Group was established, all of the business units have strengthened and made advancements in their respective fields. And the digital media and entertainment matrix is on its way to fighting with stronger coordination,” Alibaba group CEO Daniel Zhang said in a letter to employees announcing the changes.

Alibaba’s Digital Entertainment unit — which straddles two listed companies, Alibaba and Alibaba Pictures Group — has activities in
streaming video, film investment and distribution, online ticket sales and merchandising. It acquired live events ticketing business Damai through an acquisition in March 2017.

“We don’t view (entertainment) as a separate new business. We view this as a category expansion for our existing and the newly acquired customers. So this is an integral part of our ecosystem. And as we always said, for Chinese people and when their lifestyle changing and their life quality changing and upgraded, they not only need more physical products, local services, but also they need more digital contents,” said Zhang earlier this month in a discussion of Alibaba’s financial results.

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