Alibaba’s hopes of building an entertainment superpower have been furthered after the company took almost total control of Chinese online ticketing platform Tao Piao Piao.
The group’s Alibaba Pictures division has now increased in the company from 87.6 per cent to 96.7 per cent in a $190m (£150/€165m) deal.
Zhonglian Shengshi, a wholly owned subsidiary of Alibaba Pictures, will acquire the equity interest in Hangzhou Aurora, which operates Tao Piao Piao, from six shareholders.
In a statement, Alibaba said the deal would help realise its commitment to building “an entertainment ecosystem” and developing “new infrastructure” for the film industry.
“Being the platform that serves the most critical function of consumer reach for the new infrastructure,” said the company in the filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. “Tao Piao Piao has successfully established a solid foundation in areas including film promotion, distribution and ticketing-services.”
Earlier this year Alibaba acquired the online ticketing platform Damai, which is the largest live entertainment and digital distribution platform in China and operates in 330 cities globally with 46 branches.
Tao Piao Piao, which was founded as Taobao Movie in 2014, is one of the three biggest online ticketing platforms in China. According to a report by China Business Network in March, Tao Piao Piao ranked the second in the film ticketing market, with 30 per cent market share, after Maoyan’s 33 per cent and ahead of Yu Piaoer’s 16 per cent.
The company has become an investor in films, having been involved in summer blockbusters such as ‘Wu Kong’ and ‘Brotherhood of Blades II’.
IMAGE: Wu Kong movie