Alibaba wants to go all-in on Hollywood after Green Book wins
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Alibaba wants to go all-in on Hollywood after Green Book wins

On Sunday, Green Book won the Oscar for best picture. And the tech company behind it wasn’t Netflix, or Amazon… it was Chinese internet giant Alibaba. Now, to be clear, Netflix and Amazon are in the streaming video on demand (SVOD) business, and Alibaba’s involvement in Green Book has nothing to do with that. Instead, Alibaba was a financial backer for the film – and its win has encouraged the Chinese tech titan to get involved with other Hollywood projects.

Alibaba’s share price has increased by 32% so far this year

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Source: Yahoo Finance

Alibaba has expressed two opinions that make involvement with Hollywood a sensible move: first, it thinks that the US and China will, eventually, reach a trade deal. And second, it expects the US trade deficit with China will narrow. The company’s executive vice chairman, John Tsai, said: “China is going to be more open for imports, not just in goods, but also in services, including content.”

Some of that content, of course, will be Hollywood movies. China is predicted to be the world’s largest movie market by 2020 – but many Hollywood blockbusters don’t catch on there. According to Alibaba execs, Green Book is the kind of high-quality content they would be interested in enabling more of, and bringing to China. And, of course, if you’re helping to finance a film, you do get some say in it. Alibaba’s investments in these movies could help close the gap, culturally, between Hollywood and China. Tsai simply said: “We see the opportunity to bring high-quality content into China.”

Dominion holds Alibaba in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.

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