Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, has acquired the online ticketing platform Damai, as it continues its expansion in the entertainment sector.

Damai is the largest live entertainment and digital distribution platform in China, currently operating in 330 cities globally with 46 branches. Alibaba first invested in Damai in 2014.

“Ali announces its acquisition of Damai, part of our big entertainment strategy,” the firm said in a statement. “This continues an earnest three-year romance.”

Damai reposted a statement from a senior Alibaba executive stating that it now owns 100 per cent of the company.

The US news agency Reuters reports that Alibaba said that the acquisition of Damai “fits nicely into our ‘health and happiness’ strategy and forms a strategic part of the value chain in our media and entertainment business”.

“Damai will be a powerful platform to distribute our media content as well as expand our user reach and engagement,” Alibaba said, adding there would be synergies with its own entertainment units Alibaba Music, Alibaba Pictures and Youku.

Recently, Alibaba’s mobile president He Xiapeng said that the company is looking to acquire an undisclosed Indian online movie-booking site to further its standing in the country’s retail entertainment market.

He added that Alibaba already has momentum in the sector following its investment in the digital payment mobile application Paytm.

Meanwhile, Alibaba Pictures Group (APG) and its parent company recently announced that they are to set up an artist management division as part of a three-year strategic co-operation agreement.

By pooling group resources, the deal is intended to establish a long-term alliance for co-development. It also means that on the marketing and distribution front, both companies will promote the brands and content of its counterpart.