In a move to dive deeper into the entertainment industry, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group’s film unit has struck a deal with popular Asian filmmakers.
The company announced the agreement in a regulatory filing by ChinaVision Media Group (HKG:1060), a Hong Kong Stock Exchange-listed company recently acquired by Alibaba for more than $800 million. ChinaVision, which will soon be renamed Alibaba Pictures Group, said that it has signed “motion pictures development cooperation agreements” with some film producers and directors in Asia, including Wong Kar Wai, who is known for movies such as “In the Mood for Love” and “My Blueberry Nights.”
“The Group has entered into several motion pictures development cooperation agreements with leading movie producers and directors, including cooperations with Block 2 Films Limited and Mr. Wong Kar Wai, a highly acclaimed and nationally renowned director, producer and script writer,” Chinavision said, in the statement obtained by Variety, which also reported that details about the deal would be announced at a future event.
In addition to Wong, the deal also announced partnerships with other renowned Asian filmmakers, such as Taiwanese director Giddens Ko and Hong Kong-based director Peter Chan.
The latest deal with Wong and other directors is part of Alibaba’s strategy to strengthen its foothold in the entertainment world. The company has also offered investment proposals to film studios in China, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Alibaba announced last week that it had partnered with Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (NYSE:LGF) to offer a subscription-based service to stream Hollywood movies and television shows in China. The new service, dubbed “Lionsgate Entertainment World,” will be available exclusively through Alibaba’s latest set-top box product and is expected to launch in August.
Alibaba, which is preparing for what could be the technology industry’s biggest initial public offering, valued itself at $130 billion in a regulatory filing in the U.S. last week.