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Spielberg's Amblin, China's Alibaba announce partnership

Steven Spielberg (L), American director and chairman of Amblin Partners, and Jack Ma, chairman and chief executive of Alibaba Group, attend strategy conference to announce partnership between the two companies on October 9, 2016 in Beijing, China.
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Steven Spielberg (L), American director and chairman of Amblin Partners, and Jack Ma, chairman and chief executive of Alibaba Group, attend strategy conference to announce partnership between the two companies on October 9, 2016 in Beijing, China.

Steven Spielberg's Amblin Partners and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba's media arm announced a partnership Sunday to co-produce films for global audiences.

The deal adds to a multibillion-dollar string of Chinese ventures with Hollywood studios to capture more of the profits from China's growing media market.

Alibaba Pictures will acquire a minority stake in Amblin Partners, the companies said. Amblin, co-owned by Spielberg, combines DreamWorks Studios, Participant Media, Reliance Entertainment and Entertainment One.

No financial details were announced.

Alibaba, led by founder Jack Ma, is China's biggest online commerce company and has expanded into entertainment with its 2014 acquisition of a 60 per cent stake in a Hong Kong company that became Alibaba Pictures. Alibaba also owns the Youku Tudou online video service.

The partnership "marks an important milestone in our globalization strategy to reach Chinese and global audiences alike," said Alibaba Pictures chairman Shao Xiaofeng in a statement. "We will also leverage Alibaba Group's ecosystem as a channel for Amblin Partners' films to reach hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers."