Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding and Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. (LGF.US), the studio behind the Hunger Games movies, will launch a subscription video streaming service in China.
The service, available only through Alibaba’s internet television set-top boxes, will be launched in August, according to a joint statement issued on Tuesday.
Users of Alibaba’s entertainment platform can watch the latest Hollywood movies such as Divergent and the Twilight Saga series.
Patrick Liu, Alibaba’s president for digital entertainment, said the company is working very hard to offer better and more interesting programs.
Alibaba has linked up with Dragon TV, a subsidiary of Shanghai Media Group, to establish an entertainment platform combining the technologies of traditional media, the internet and mobile communications, Xinhua News Agency reported on June 11.
This came after it said in late April it will acquire 721 million Class-A shares of online video firm Youku Tudou Inc. for US$1.22 billion via a joint venture with Yunfeng Capital.
It has also agreed to buy 60 percent of ChinaVision Media Group Ltd. (01060.HK) for HK$6.24 billion (US$804.40 million) via subscription to new shares, an exchange filing said on March 11.
Before that, the e-commerce giant was expected to take a 20 percent stake in Wasu Media Holding Co. Ltd. (000156.CN), its smart-TV set-top box partner, the National Business Daily reported.
Alibaba could launch its US initial public offering by the end of this month, the Wall Street Journal reported on July 11. If all goes well, its shares could start trading on the New York Stock Exchange by mid-August, it said.
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