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Alibaba kicks live plans into gear with Damai buy

The world's largest retailer, whose revenues dwarf Walmart, Amazon and eBay combined, has kickstarted its bid for ticketing domination by buying market leader

By Jon Chapple on 21 Mar 2017

Jack Ma, Alibaba,, UN Business and Philanthropy Leaders’ Forum, UN Women/Ryan Brown

Alibaba founder and executive chairman Jack Ma

image © UN Women/Ryan Brown

Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba appears to be setting into motion its long-awaited expansion into live entertainment, today announcing the acquisition of China’s leading music, sports and theatrical ticket agency,

On its page on Chinese social network Weibo, Alibaba says the buy-out, for an undisclosed sum, “continues an earnest three-year romance” with, in which it has had a minority interest since 2014.

Alibaba – whose Alibaba Pictures business last May announced a strategic partnership with, launching new ticketing operation Tao Piao Piao – adds in a statement the new acquisition “forms a strategic part of the value chain in our media and entertainment business”.

“ will be a powerful platform to distribute our media content, as well as expand our user reach and engagement”

“ will be a powerful platform to distribute our media content, as well as expand our user reach and engagement,” reads the announcement. “There will be extensive collaboration opportunities with our other entertainment assets, including Alibaba Music, Alibaba Pictures and [online video platform] Youku.”

Damai, which has sold tickets for more than 1.8 million events since its launch in 2007, has a marketshare of roughly 70% in China. It is not yet clear whether Alibaba will merge with Tao Piao Piao.

Jack Ma-led Alibaba, worth an estimated US$14bn, earlier this month announced the launch of an artist-management company as a joint venture between Alibaba Pictures and Youku.


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