Alibaba reshuffles entertainment units, to raise $1.5b investment fund

Chance Chan / Reuters

In a major reorganization of the company’s entertainment assets, Alibaba Holdings Group Ltd. has announced the formation of a new digital media group along with plans for a 10 billion yuan ($1.48 billion) fund for new projects.

The move marks a total consolidation of Alibaba’s media businesses, including Youku Tudou Inc., UCWeb Inc. and Alibaba Pictures Group Ltd. as well as the company’s sports, games, literature, music and digital entertainment divisions.

Yu Yongfu, former CEO of UCWeb, will become the chairman and CEO of the newly formed Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Group, reporting directly to Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang.

Youku Tudou chairman and CEO Victor Koo will chair the Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Strategy and Investment Committee, which will oversee the management of the planned fund for the new digital media group, which an Alibaba spokeswoman confirmed will be over 10 billion yuan.

The company declined to mention specific investment projects, saying that the funds will be used across their digital media and entertainment businesses.

Alibaba Pictures, the only publicly listed company under the new entity, has already undergone a series of consolidations, including the recent addition of online ticketing service Tao Piao Piao.

The entertainment company also recently entered an agreement with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Pictures, agreeing to co-produce and finance films.

Youku Tudou, which is approaching its tenth anniversary in December, was fully acquired by Alibaba in October last year as part of a $3.5 billion deal that took the company private.

Yu will retain his previous titles as president of AutoNavi and president of Alibaba Mobile Business Group, both Alibaba subsidiaries.

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Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.