China’s Alibaba takes full control of online ticket seller Damai

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 March, 2017, 7:41pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 March, 2017, 7:41pm

Alibaba Group Holding has fully acquired China’s online ticketing major for an undisclosed amount, expanding further into entertainment as the internet giant looks beyond its core e-commerce business for higher growth.

Hangzhou-based Alibaba announced the acquisition on Tuesday, about three years after first investing in Damai, which claims to hold about 70 per cent of mainland China’s entertainment ticketing market – mostly tickets for live concerts, theatre performances and sports events.

“[The acquisition] continues an earnest three-year romance,” said Alibaba in a post on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter. Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post.

Alibaba’s acquisition of the roughly 70 per cent stake in Damai it did not already own is expected to lead to greater synergies between the two companies.

“Damai will be a powerful platform to distribute our media content as well as expand our user search and engagement,” Alibaba said in a statement.

“There will be extensive collaboration opportunities with our other entertainment assets including Alibaba Music, Alibaba Pictures and Youku.”

Cao Lei, head of the China E-commerce Research Centre, said that with growing consumer consumption in China more people appreciate a good movie or a concert rather than simply spending their money shopping. “The move to push further into entertainment is set to create the next gold mine for Alibaba,” he said.

Alibaba Music will be the first business unit to integrate with Damai. Through the integration of data, Alibaba will be able to tailor ticket sales marketing and online music recommendations to each user’s specific tastes and preferences, analysts said.