Alibaba Pictures Buys Stake at Hehe Pictures
Alibaba Pictures Group has announced its acquisition of a 30 percent stake in Chinese film investment company Hehe Pictures.
Alibaba’s film arm will be Hehe’s second largest shareholder after founder and general manager Yang Wei, according to Variety. The company did not disclose the value of the transaction. Other investors of Hehe Pictures include actor Chen Kun, singer Yand Kun, and director Cao Baoping as owner.
Like Us on Facebook
The Chinese e-commerce giant will appoint two executives to Hehe's board of directors and the two companies will work together in terms of film production and distribution of future film titles.
“We look forward to stepping up our fruitful partnership in terms of film production, promotion and distribution. By creating a healthy ecosystem for financing in the film industry, we hope to support more filmmakers and boost the development of the industry,” said Alibaba Pictures CEO Zhang Qiang in a statement.
Hehe Pictures has already made an investment to major film projects such as “The Mermaid,” “Chongqing Hot Pot,” “Skiptrace,” and “Cock and Bull.” “The Mermaid” is China's top-grossing film of all time, earning more than $500 million locally.
This is not the first time that the two companies will be collaborating. In May, Hehe Pictures has joined other companies for the Series A financing of Tao Piaopiao, Alibaba Pictures’ online movie ticketing platform. The two companies also collaborated to produce “The Ferryman,” China Film Insider reported.
HeHe Pictures’s investment from Alibaba will strengthen the synergies between the two. They plan to make 20 more movies.
Alibaba’s new investment comes after the company’s acquisition of small interest in Steven Spielberg's Amblin Partners and a stake in Dadi Cinema, China's second largest cinema operator.