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Bilibili Strikes Merchandise Deal With Alibaba’s Taobao

Bilibili, the Chinese online platform with a strong focus on anime, comics, and games, has struck a deal with Taobao, the largest e-commerce division of Alibaba. The two-pronged deal covers merchandise driven by Bilibili, and joint efforts to expand Bilibili’s IP.

The two companies will jointly develop an ecosystem that connects content creators, merchandise and users on both platforms. Content creators on Bilibili will register and operate accounts on Taobao, and promote merchandise by producing content in a creative and interactive format. Taobao will also provide technical support to Bilibili to improve its user experience.

Bilibili, which listed on NASDAQ earlier this year, has been around since 2009 and now claims 92 million monthly active users and 450 million page-views per day. Part of what drives its sky-high rating, is that its Generation Z demographics skew younger than the national average.

“This (is) testament to Bilibili’s commercial potential and closely aligns us with China’s leading and most successful e-commerce platform,” said Chen Rui, chairman and CEO of Bilibili. “Through this collaboration, we will better incentivize the creativity of our young people.”

The tie-up is also in line with Taobao’s own initiative to encourage bloggers, writers and online experts to post content on Taobao, and amplify the value of their creative content. It claims that, after the program has been operational for three years, some 1.6 million content creators now do so.

Bilibili recently positioned itself as a producer or co-producer of original factual content. It has worked with National Geographic on “China’s Hidden Kingdoms,” with NHK on the “WHK” anime show, and the BBC on spin-offs of men’s lifestyle show “Top Gear.”

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