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Alibaba Strikes China Bundling Deal With DMG, Hunan TV

Agreement marks country’s first combined Internet, cable and mobile consumer services

Alibaba has reached a deal with Chinese film company DMG Entertainment and China’s Hunan Satellite Television to bundle subscription-based Internet, cable and mobile entertainment — the country’s first such offering.

The bundled service, which will include gaming, film and TV content, will initially be available to Hunan’s six million cable TV subscribers. It will later be expanded throughout China, per a Shenzhen stock exchange filing. In addition, fee-based gaming and educational content will also be part of the package.

The service will be offered through Alibaba’s TMall e-commerce platform. No financial details or launch dates are currently available.

“Alibaba Group is committed to bringing premium entertainment content to Chinese users through our Tmall set top box,” an Alibaba spokeswoman told TheWrap. “The goal of the Tmall box is to provide a wide variety of licensed, legitimate content such as games, movies and television shows, to Chinese users in order to fulfill our vision of becoming central to the everyday lives of our customers.”

The three-way deal could be a boon to Beijing-based film company DMG, which has been pushing to go global. DMG co-produced “Iron Man 3” with Disney.

China is the world’s second-largest movie market by revenue, trailing only the U.S. E-commerce giant Alibaba has been trying to put its stamp on the entertainment industry, investing billions in the process. In March, the company purchased Chinese film and entertainment company Enlight Media for $383 million.

Jack Ma’s firm debuted to a record $25 billion IPO in Sept. 2014. Shortly after, Alibaba invested $50 million in TV app maker Peel.

Alibaba also has a movie-ticketing website and a film crowdfunding product, Alibaba Pictures. It also owns an 18.5-percent stake in Youku Tudou Inc., one of China’s biggest video-streaming companies. Ma’s company holds a minority stake in film studio Huayi Brothers Media Corp.

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