The digital media and entertainment division of Chinese Internet giant Alibaba will invest $7.2 billion in new content over the next three years, according to an internal email seen by Reuters and confirmed by a company spokesperson.
The CEO of Alibaba’s Digital Media and Entertainment Group, Yu Yongfu — who assumed the post in October — wrote in the email that “he didn’t come to play,” according to Reuters.
In October, Alibaba consolidated all of its media holdings — including Alibaba Music, video streaming platform Youku Tudou (often called China’s YouTube), Alibaba Gaming, mobile browser UCWeb, Alibaba Literature, and filmmaking arm Alibaba Pictures — into the aforementioned Entertainment Group. The company had also previously announced a $1.5 billion investment in entertainment, Billboard reports, and it is unclear whether the $7.2 billion figure includes this previous pledge.
The digital media market in China — where major American players including YouTube, Facebook, Netflix (which plans to spend $6 billion on content in 2017 alone), and Amazon are banned — continues to be dominated by fast-growing local players. Baidu, for instance — an Alibaba competitor — is reportedly planning a $1 billion IPO of its video streaming property iQiyi.