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Alibaba Pictures, Amblin Partners seal strategic partnership

Alibaba Pictures Group and Steven Spielberg's Amblin Partners struck a strategic deal to co-produce, finance and distribute films for Chinese and global audiences, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s news website Alizila reported Oct. 9.

The deal enables Alibaba Pictures to become Amblin's merchandise, licensing and exclusive distribution partner in China, while also allowing the former to invest in Amblin films. At the same time, Amblin will be able to tap Alibaba's online and mobile platforms to promote its movies, plus sell tickets and movie-related items.

The two companies will also team up to distribute film content online via video streaming, and later on TV and other digital distribution platforms.

Alibaba will acquire a minority holding in Amblin, as well as take a seat on the latter's board.

The partnership begins with the marketing and distribution of fantasy-adventure film "The BFG," which will be released Oct. 14 in China, Alibaba Pictures President Zhang Wei told Alizila that same day.

Amblin Partners was formed by DreamWorks Studios, Participant Media LLC, Reliance Entertainment and Entertainment One Ltd.