Only days after issuing a warning that it’s losses for the year would exceed expectations, Alibaba Pictures has launched a $300 million investment fund aimed at the entertainment business. The film unit of Jack Ma’s online giant, Alibaba Pictures is teaming with Wuhu Gopher Asset Management for the fund, which will be called the Hainan Alibaba Pictures Entertainment Industry Investment Fund.
The fund was announced Monday and aims to make investments in “companies along the value chain of the movie and television entertainment industry, creating synergies with Alibaba Pictures’ own capital and contributing to the creation of an integrated platform for the entertainment industry value chain.”
On Friday, Alibaba Pictures issued a warning that its half year losses would be higher than expected. Alibaba Pictures Group, which had been expanding aggressively in recent months, blamed the losses on increased marketing costs at its online film ticket portal Tao Piao Piao. The losses are estimated to be between $52-58 million. The news coincides with an unexpected downturn in China’s box office.
In June, Alibaba Pictures unveiled the development and production pipeline it hopes will establish it as a major player in the Chinese film biz and beyond. Announced at the Born to be Different strategic conference in Shanghai, Alibaba Pictures’ production slate included 17 features. Among the titles planned are Storming 30 Years, Zhengtu,No Other Love, and two TV programs, Ge Jin Tao Hua and The legend of Zu 2. Other projects include Sword of Legends 2, Three Lives Three Worlds Ten Miles of Peach Blossom, Asura, as well as Qi Huan Zhi Lv and Qing He Male College.
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