Lionsgate, Alibaba plan subscription video streaming service in China

Shailene Woodley and Theo James star in "Divergent," part of the film library that will be available to subscribers of a new video streaming service being launched in China by Lionsgate with Chinese e-commerce group Alibaba.
(Jaap Buitendijk / Associated Press)

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and Lionsgate announced on Monday that they will launch a subscription streaming service for mainland China.

The service, called Lionsgate Entertainment World, will allow users of the Alibaba platform to watch box-office and television favorites such as “Divergent” and AMC’s “Mad Men” on set-top boxes. The service is expected to launch in August.

Other titles that will be available include “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” Showtime’s “Weeds” and NBC’s “Nashville.” Content will continue to expand to include additional titles, the companies said.

“Alibaba is the kind of entrepreneurial company with whom we like to be in business, and the launch of our streaming service in China underscores our commitment to innovation and leadership in delivering premium content to digital platforms around the world,” said Lionsgate Chief Executive Jon Feltheimer in a statement.


Shares of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. rose 98 cents, or 3.4%, to $29.71 in midsession trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

Alibaba is poised for an initial public offering and is set to trade on the New York Stock Exchange. It recently increased its valuation to $130 billion.

Executives for Alibaba also hailed the collaboration with Lions Gate.

“We are committed to expanding our ecosystem where our users can meet, work and live, and this cooperation signals our ongoing commitment to advance our vision of making digital media entertainment available to our customers anywhere, anytime,” said Patrick Liu, president of Alibaba Group’s digital entertainment business unit.

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