Zhao Wei buys 9% stake in Alibaba Pictures

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Chinese actress Zhao Wei and her husband bought nearly 9.2 percent stake in Alibaba Pictures Group for HK$3.1 billion ($400 million), latest regulatory filing showed.

Actress Zhao Wei takes the lead role in the upcoming Chinese TV drama "Tiger Mom" (Hu Ma Mao Ba). [Photo: yule.sohu.com]


Zhaowei and her husband Huang Youlong have become the company's second largest shareholder, according to a Hong Kong exchange filing, after acquiring 1.93 billion shares of Alibaba Pictures at an average price of HK$1.6 each in December last year.

The 39-year-old pop star established her acting career with TV drama Princess Huanzhu in 1998, and is also known as film director.

Alibaba acquired a majority stake in the Hong Kong-listed film company for $804 million last year, before the e-commerce giant's record breaking initial public offering.

The company issued a profit warning on Monday, saying that it expects to record a substantial loss of as much as HK$600 million for the 2014 fiscal year due to production delays, asset impairment provisions and decrease in its magazine advertising revenue.

Entertainment quest

Alibaba increased its stake in Huayi Brothers, one of China's biggest private entertainment groups, to nearly 8.1 percent in November last year.

Hollywood content may be another item in Alibaba's shopping list, after the company signed an agreement to stream content such as The Hunger Games in July last year, according to Bloomberg.

In April last year, Alibaba and Jack Ma's private equity firm Yunfeng Capital bought $1.22 billion stake in Youku Tudou, China's leading online video platform. Alibaba holds 16.5 percent of shares, while the latter holds 2 percent.

Wasu Media decided in April last year to sell its 20 percent stake for 6.54 billion yuan to Hangzhou Yunxi Investment Partnership Enterprise, which is owned by Jack Ma and other partners.

The e-commerce behemoth acquired a 60 percent stake in Hong Kong-listed ChinaVision Group for $804 million in March last year. The company, now named Alibaba Pictures Group, produces Chinese-language TV shows and movies.

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