Media in China is a controlled sector, so news that Steven Spielberg's Amblin Partners has entered China via a deal with Alibaba is not a surprise.

U.S.-based Amblin Partners and Alibaba Pictures Group Limited, the entertainment company partially owned by Alibaba Group, have entered into a comprehensive strategic partnership to co-produce and finance films for global and Chinese audiences, as well as collaborate on the marketing, distribution and merchandising of Amblin Partners films in China.

Under the terms of the partnership, Alibaba Pictures will also acquire a minority equity stake in Amblin Partners and an Alibaba Pictures representative will join Amblin Partners' board of directors.

Famed film director Steven Spielberg, chairman of Amblin Partners, said, "We are proud and excited that such a valued company as Alibaba Pictures is joining with our other highly-respected partners, Reliance Entertainment, Participant Media and Entertainment One, in building our growth and strengthening our company even further. Our vision is to inspire and entertain audiences through creativity and imagination both here and around the world. We would also like to thank Jack Ma for his friendship and support."

Alibaba Pictures joins Amblin Partners' group of investors, and will be its first Chinese partner.

Amblin Partners and Alibaba Pictures will leverage their combined resources, technology and talent to co-produce films that appeal to China and global audiences, and collaborate on other Amblin Partners projects around the world. This is expected to drive further growth in the film industry across China, delivering consumers immersive, innovative and culturally-rich entertainment and experiences. Alibaba Pictures will also have the option to co-finance Amblin Partners films worldwide.

Financial terms of the deal were not released.

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