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Award-winning American director Steven Spielberg has paired up with China’s richest man, Jack Ma, in a deal that would bring Hollywood a lot closer to China.
The team-up has Ma’s Alibaba Pictures working together with the all-time highest-grossing filmmaker’s Amblin Partners, a film and television production outfit, according to Bloomberg.
The deal, which provided Alibaba Pictures a minority stake in Amblin and a representation in its board of directors, will allow the American firm a crack at the world’s second largest box office where there is a huge demand for global content.
“I believe this collaboration can serve as a cultural bridge and have a positive impact on the next generation of Chinese consumers,” Alibaba Group founder and executive chairman Jack Ma was quoted as saying.
Amblin’s productions may also benefit from gaining distribution via China’s top video streaming site Youku Tudou, which was recently acquired by Alibaba.
Alibaba has shown considerable increase in interest in media and entertainment with its recent acquisitions. It has also recently invested in several Hollywood movie productions this year, including “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows”, “Star Trek Beyond”, and “Mission Impossible” among the most notable.
China’s interest in Hollywood is gaining much traction lately, with Wang Jianlin, another Chinese billionaire, purchasing stakes in a number of American film studios. Wang recently signed up to invest in Sony Pictures a few months after buying a controlling stake in Legendary Entertainment earlier this year.