Alibaba acquires Damai platform

By Fan Feifei | China Daily | Updated: 2017-03-22 07:19

E-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd announced on Tuesday it now fully owns online ticketing platform

Alibaba became a significant shareholder of Damai in 2014, after picking up a 32.44 percent stake.

Full ownership now forms a strategic part of the value chain in Alibaba's media and entertainment business, and reinforces commitment to its big entertainment strategy.

Damai will be an important platform to distribute Alibaba's media content and expand user reach and engagement, the parent said in a statement.

The deal completes an earnest three-year romance, said Yu Yongfu, CEO of Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Group, adding Alibaba Music, its music division, will have a deeper synergy with Damai.

Alibaba, however, declined to disclose financial details of the deal and whether it plans to integrate Damai with its online cinema ticketing business Tao Piao Piao, previously known as Taobao Movies.

Zhang Yu, vice-president of Alibaba responsible for its culture and entertainment business, will be Damai's new CEO, while Cao Jie, the incumbent, will take the position of a special adviser.

Damai said it was happy to become a full member of the Alibaba family.

Founded in 2004, Damai is the largest live entertainment and distribution platform in China and occupies a leading position in performances, sports and movie tickets.

It has sold tickets to 1.8 million events in 330 cities worldwide, and has more than 100 million registered users and nearly 50 distribution outlets in China.

Alibaba's entertainment units include Alibaba Music, Alibaba Pictures and video-streaming platform Youku Tudou Inc and others. It also said the virtual reality technology will play a vital role in its offline performance unit.

Lu Zhenwang, CEO of the Shanghai-based Wanqing Consultancy, said Alibaba aims to expand beyond its core online retail business, by connecting its entertainment unit with the country's largest online ticketing site.

"Damai has an advantage in ticket selling, owning a huge number of audience bases, and Alibaba has shortcomings in this area. The acquisition, therefore, will make up for the deficiency," said Lu.

The income from Alibaba Music and Youku Tudou has become a key source after its e-commerce and cloud computing business, its financial report showed.

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