Alibaba Pictures

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Alibaba Pictures
Key people
Zhang Qiang (CEO)[1]
ParentAlibaba Group
SubsidiariesAmblin Partners (minority stake)

Alibaba Pictures Group is a Chinese film company under the Alibaba Group. The film company was formerly ChinaVision Media, of which Alibaba Group bought a majority stake in late 2014. It subsequently was renamed from ChinaVision to Alibaba Pictures Group. By April 2015, it was the largest Chinese film company by worth, with a market value of US$8.77 billion[2] and by June of the same year it was worth US$9.6 billion.[3]

According to researchers Françoise Paquienséguy and Miao He there are almost 30 companies, varying from investment groups to media and film studios, under the Alibaba umbrella. “These include, but are not limited to, such leading companies as Youku Tudou Inc., Enlight Media, Huayi Brothers, Bona Film Group, Wasu Media, Sina Weibo, XiamiMusicand Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao Football Club. In addition, Ma Yun also occasionally engages in capital operations, such as establishing Yunhuang and Yunxi Capital…” (Paquienséguy, He).


In March 2014, Alibaba Group bought a 60% stake in ChinaVision Media for $805 million.[4] Alibaba initially registered a film company in the following April with the name Alibaba Films Group before changing it to Alibaba Pictures Group later in the month. Two heads from ChinaVision were listed as directors of Alibaba Pictures.[5] In June 2014, ChinaVision Media was officially renamed to be Alibaba Pictures Group.[6] The following July, Zhang Qiang resigned as vice president of China Film Group to become the head of Alibaba Pictures.[7] Later in the month, Alibaba Pictures entered agreements with filmmakers and film companies, including director Wong Kar Wai and the Hong Kong-based film production company Block 2.[8]

The company purchased Yueke and at the end of 2015, Taobao Movie and Yulebao.[9] On October 9, 2016, Amblin Partners struck a deal with Alibaba, in which Alibaba acquired a minority equity stake in the company and will handle marketing, distribution, and merchandising of Amblin Partners films in China in addition to co-financing Amblin and DreamWorks films worldwide.[10][11] As described by the Financial Times, "Amblin Partners and Alibaba Pictures teamed up to "finance, produce, market and distribute films in China and globally."[12] Alibaba Pictures released the projection in February 2017 that its unaudited 2016 losses could be over US$140 million. The company stated the losses resulted from a promotion known as Tao Piao Piao, where theater tickets are subsidized.[12]

In July 2017, Alibaba increased its stake in Tao Piao Piao, an online ticketing platform, from 87.6% to 96.7%, for 1.3 billion yuan.[13]

Alibaba Pictures has become a giant in film production and finance.[14] Its success is not limited just to mainland China. Through its first domestic release See You Tomorrow, the company combined both mainland Chinese and Hong Kong values, reaching both audiences in new ways. The installment also saw “ the ongoing mainlandization of Hong Kong filmmaking practice and the corresponding Hong Kongification of contemporary Chinese popular cinema,” according to Mark Gallagher, author of “Alibaba Goes to the Movies.”[15]

Alibaba Pictures’ mid-2010s expansion was not limited only to Hong Kong however.[16]

2015 saw Alibaba Pictures’ first investment in U.S. cinema, with their financial support of ‘Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation.’

In 2016, Alibaba Group partnered with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners, an American film production company.[17]

The partnership drew international attention, with Hollywood’s highest-grossing director and one of the most active Chinese film studios coming together for production, distribution and financing.

In 2019, Alibaba Pictures financed 23 films, “ accounting for one-fifth of China's total box office,” according to Alizila, an Alibaba news outlet.[18]

At a briefing regarding the partnership in Beijing, Spielberg was quoted by Reuters as saying, “Some of the stories I’m hoping Jack and I can tell in this new partnership between Amblin Partners and Alibaba Pictures will be able to bring Chinese-themed stories to the American audience, and we can do co-productions between our company and your company…” [19]

Alibaba Pictures partnered with California-based STX, an American entertainment company, to bring “Peppa Celebrates Chinese New Year” to American silver screens in 2019.

After a substantial show of interest in the film on social media by Mandarin-speaking audiences STX and Alibaba partnered together for a U.S. release, with the goal of audiences being able to see the film in the States while it was still in theaters in China according to STXfilms chairman Adam Fogelson in Yahoo Finance.[20]

“The increasing appreciation for and interest in Chinese culture, the fact that the story of a family dynamic during the holiday, and the entry point of Peppa, which most American audiences are familiar with, creates a dynamic where there certainly could be — not on the Marvel level of course — broad interest,” said Fogelson, “…Our first goal was to make sure that Mandarin speakers in the U.S. would have access to the film while the movie was playing in China.”[citation needed]



  1. ^ a b "Alibaba Pictures In 'Real' Deal; Pacts For First Korean Film Investment". October 12, 2015. Retrieved October 13, 2015.
  2. ^ Patrick Frater (April 9, 2015). "Chinese Media Stocks Stage Major Rally in U.S. and Asian Markets". Retrieved April 14, 2015.
  3. ^ Rob Cain (June 7, 2015). "Is Jack Ma's Alibaba Pictures Really Worth $10 Billion?". Retrieved June 17, 2015.
  4. ^ Osawa, Juro (May 12, 2014). "Is Alibaba Going Into the Movies?". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  5. ^ Staff (May 12, 2014). "China's Alibaba registers film company in Hong Kong". Reuters. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  6. ^ Ying, Huang; Jing, Meng (June 3, 2014). "ChinaVision becoming Alibaba Pictures". China Daily. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  7. ^ Chu, Kathy (July 17, 2014). "Alibaba Hires Zhang Qiang to Run Alibaba Pictures Production Company". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  8. ^ Frater, Patrick (July 20, 2014). "China's Alibaba to Finance Wong Kar Wai Movie Slate". Variety. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  9. ^ a b Frater, Patrick (March 29, 2016). "Alibaba Pictures Achieves First Profits". Variety. Retrieved March 30, 2016.
  10. ^ "Steven Spielberg's Amblin Partners Inks Strategic Pact with Alibaba Pictures". 9 October 2016.
  11. ^ "China's Alibaba Takes Stake in Steven Spielberg's Amblin; Will Team on Global Pics". 9 October 2016.
  12. ^ a b Fei Ju, Sherry; Clover, Charles (April 1, 2017). "China's Hollywood war chest threatened by poor ticket sales". Financial Times. Retrieved April 3, 2017.
  13. ^ "Alibaba Increases Stake in Online Ticketer Tao Piao Piao | CFI". China Film Insider. 2017-07-27. Retrieved 2018-11-03.
  14. ^ Poujol, Patrice (2019), Poujol, Patrice (ed.), "Alibaba Pictures: An Illustration of Changing Business Cultures and Film Finance", Online Film Production in China Using Blockchain and Smart Contracts: The Development of Collaborative Platforms for Emerging Creative Talents, International Series on Computer Entertainment and Media Technology, Springer International Publishing, pp. 127–181, doi:10.1007/978-3-030-02468-0_5, ISBN 978-3-030-02468-0, S2CID 169534729
  15. ^ Gallagher, Mark (2018), Magnan-Park, Aaron Han Joon; Marchetti, Gina; Tan, See Kam (eds.), "Alibaba Goes to the Movies", The Palgrave Handbook of Asian Cinema, Palgrave Macmillan UK, pp. 109–127, doi:10.1057/978-1-349-95822-1_6, ISBN 978-1-349-95822-1
  16. ^ "Book Review: Hollywood Made in China". China Film Insider. 2018-01-04. Retrieved 2020-03-27.
  17. ^ Angeles, Alyssa Abkowitz in Beijing and Erich Schwartzel in Los (2016-10-10). "Alibaba Goes to Hollywood in Deal With Steven Spielberg's Amblin Partners". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2020-03-27.
  18. ^ "Alibaba Pictures Helps Drive China's Billion-Dollar Box Office in 2019". 2019-12-20. Retrieved 2020-03-27.
  19. ^ "Alibaba Pictures, Amblin to co-produce films for global, Chinese audiences". Reuters (in German). 2016-10-09. Archived from the original on 2020-03-27. Retrieved 2020-03-27.
  20. ^ "Exclusive: Alibaba is making a huge play to bring Chinese movies to America". Retrieved 2020-03-27.
  21. ^ "'Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation' To Receive Investment From Alibaba Pictures". June 24, 2015. Retrieved August 3, 2015.
  22. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (January 3, 2016). "'Star Wars', Local-Language & Family Pics Lead; 'Sherlock' Shines In Korea – Intl B.O." Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 4, 2016.
  23. ^ a b Brzeski, Patrick (April 17, 2016). "China's Alibaba Pictures Invests in Paramount's 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2,' 'Star Trek Beyond'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 27, 2016.
  24. ^ Ali Jaafar (June 4, 2015). "Alibaba Pictures Plans To Raise $1.6 Billion Through Share Sale". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 17, 2015.
  25. ^ "Film in Production". EntGroup Inc. Retrieved October 3, 2015.
  26. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Jaafar, Ali (June 14, 2016). "China's Alibaba Pictures Unveils Development And Production Strategy; Intends To Use Online Dominance To Help Creative Partners". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  27. ^ Xu Fan (China Daily) (June 18, 2015). "Internet Giants Move From Behind the Camera to Front". EntGroup Inc. Retrieved June 19, 2015.
  28. ^ "Tom Cruise Says 'Mission: Impossible – Fallout' Is "Love Letter" To Paris At World Premiere". July 13, 2018. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  29. ^ "Alibaba Pictures Starts Year of Pig With Box Office Successes". 2019-02-15. Retrieved 2019-02-25.
  30. ^ "China's Alibaba Pictures to Partner on STX's UglyDolls Franchise". 11 January 2019.
  31. ^ Rebecca Sun and Patrick Brzeski (April 25, 2016). "China's Alibaba Pictures to Remake 'Night at the Museum'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 27, 2016.
  32. ^ Kroll, Justin (April 6, 2016). "Skydance, Alibaba Team Up on World War II Movie 'Flying Tigers'". Variety. Retrieved April 22, 2016.
  33. ^ Rahman, Abid (June 13, 2016). "China's Alibaba Pictures Sets Renny Harlin-Directed 'Legend of the Ancient Sword'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  34. ^ Frater, Patrick (June 13, 2016). "Renny Harlin to Shoot 'Legend of the Ancient Sword' for Alibaba". Variety. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  35. ^ Brzeski, Patrick (December 1, 2016). "Director Renny Harlin on Staging His Second Act in China (Q&A)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  36. ^ Frater, Patrick (January 25, 2016). "Vicky Zhao to Direct Animated 'My Fair Princess' for Alibaba Pictures". Variety. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
  37. ^ Frater, Patrick (April 17, 2016). "Italy's Giuseppe Tornatore to Shoot Movie for China's Alibaba Pictures". Variety. Retrieved April 22, 2016.
  38. ^ "David Heyman signs on to produce a film version of the "Warriors" children's book series". November 21, 2016. Retrieved May 13, 2017.