Alibaba Pictures Group has acquired cinema ticketing company Guangdong Yueke in an open auction for $134m (RMB830m).
In a statement, Alibaba said the acquisition would “help connect movie theaters with hundreds of millions of users of Alibaba Group and expand the existing customer group to include ecommerce consumers.”
The deal should also enable Alibaba to gather “big data” on China’s vast movie-going population, which can be used towards developing new film and TV projects.
Previously owned by state-run Yueke Technology Financial Group, Yueke supplies ticketing systems to more than 1,000 cinemas and provides software systems to more than 30 online ticketing platforms including Alipay, Tencent and group-discount site Meituan.
Yueke Technology Financial Group has the right to repurchase 20%-30% of Yueke within nine months of the registration of new corporate records.
Early last month, Alibaba Group Holdings, the parent company of Alibaba Pictures, acquired a $383m stake in Beijing-based production company Enlight Media, which has produced hits including Lost In Thailand and The Break-up Guru.