(CBN - Global) May 18 -- Alibaba Pictures Group Ltd. [HKG:1060], the film arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. [NYSE:BABA], is to restructure its online movie branch Taobao Movie following a successful first round of financing that raised CNY1.7 billion (USD260.2 million).
Taobao Movie has been renamed Tao Piaopiao, meaning 'buy cheap tickets' in Chinese, and will be operated independently. "It will remain a branch under Alibaba Pictures, but Tao Piaopiao will have greater discretion in making business decisions," a source within Alibaba Pictures told CBN.
Tao Piaopiao will no longer be limited to online movie ticket sales and its business scope will increase to include mega-entertainment businesses such as performances and sport. Its app has now been linked to China's largest entertainment ticket seller damai.cn, operated by Beijing Red Horse Culture Media Co.
Mr. Yang Lei, vice president of Alibaba Pictures, refused to elaborate on the objectives of the recent fundraising. Asked whether the company will continue to acquire market share by offering ticketing subsidies, Mr. Yang said, "Subsidies may not last long."