Alibaba Pictures said its enlarged stake in online movie ticketing platform Tao Piao Piao helped it increase revenues by 313 per cent during the first six months of 2017.

In a trading update, the film division of Jack Ma’s Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba said it “allocated significant resources” from Tao Piao Piao in the first half, including ticket subsidies to cinemas “in order to expand its user base.” Alibaba Pictures, which is also movie producer, said will continue to invest in Tao Piao Piao since it is “the platform that serves the most critical function of consumer reach for its infrastructure”.

Tao Piao Piao offers online ticketing and seat selection services to nearly 7,000 cinemas nationwide, covering more than 97 per cent of the country’s total box office.

Last month, Alibaba increased its stake in Tao Piao Piao to 96.7 per cent from 9.1 per cent. It said that it is “committed to investing in Tao Piao Piao and is confident of its market potentials in the group’s entertainment ecosystem.”

“As Tao Piao Piao further solidified its market position, it has been able to increase its revenue from both consumers for providing ticketing service, and from film producers for providing promotion and distribution services,” said chairman Yu Yongfu.

Alibaba Pictures generated 913.9m yuan (£107m/$138.6m/€116m) in the six months to June 30. However, costs also rose, leaving the company with a 29 per cent increase in losses, to 587.5m yuan.

The South China Morning Post news site reports that overall box-office revenue in mainland China grew 11 per cent to 27.3bn yuan according to data from the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.