• Alibaba announces plan to create a music service arm for Chinese consumers.

Alibaba announces plan to create a music service arm for Chinese consumers. (Photo : Reuters)

Alibaba, China’s leading e-commerce group, has recently inked a three-year deal with Shanghai Film Festival, with tasks spanning from sponsorship, ticketing and talent development.

Under the agreement, both parties are expected to jointly build “a platform that integrates support for newcomers, services and innovation.”

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The e-commerce firm’s crowdfunding-like product, Yulebao, will serve as the film fest’s sponsor, while its Taobao Dianying mobile app will be a platform for ticket sales.

Furthermore, Alibaba’s Tmall Magic Box set-top-decoder will also offer festival experience to millions of households’ living rooms. Details regarding this are yet to be disclosed.

The Shanghai Film Festival’s 18th edition is slated to run on June 13-21 this year.

According to Patrick Liu Chunning, the vice president of Alibaba Group and president of the firm’s digital and entertainment business arm, Yulebao will roll out $195 to $244 million investment in film production.

Patrick added that they are eyeing to have gross box-office returns of $813 million.

Last year, Yulebao’s $54-million investment in 12 film titles pulled out nearly $488 million worth of combined gross income.

Earlier, Albaba stated that its financial services group, Ant Financial, grew up to thrice as big in 2014, reaching a $93 billion worth of asset in contrary with the $30 billion record in 2013.

Ant Financial is the current largest money market fund in the country. The unit’s Yu’e Bao Internet-based investment platform has over 185 million users at the end of 2014, a 43-million increase from 2013.