Alibaba and Lions Gate to Offer Subscription TV Streaming Service in China
Jack Ma, the founder and executive chair of Alibaba Group Holding, speaks during the SoftBank World 2014 event in Tokyo on 15 July.Reuters

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding and Lions Gate Entertainment, the Canadian-American studio behind the Hunger Games films, will together roll out a subscription-based TV streaming service in China this year.

Alibaba, which is preparing for a mega US floatation later this year, is looking to expand its video content offering in China.

The service -- Lionsgate Entertainment World -- will be exclusive to Alibaba's Internet television set-top boxes and will give users access to Lions Gate content, including titles from the Twilight Saga and The Hunger Games series, alongside television series Mad Men.

The service will be available to Chinese subscribers from August 2014 onwards. It will also offer subscriber benefits such as invitations to screenings, the firms said in a statement on 15 July.

"This cooperation signals our ongoing commitment to advance our vision of making digital media entertainment available to our customers anywhere, anytime," Patrick Liu, Alibaba's president of digital entertainment, said in the statement.

Alibaba Buying Spree

Alibaba and its affiliates have made aggressive moves into the entertainment industry since the beginning of 2014, having invested in excess of $3bn (£1.75bn, €2.2bn) since March. The Hangzhou-based firm is looking to diversify and move beyond its traditional e-commerce business.

Alibaba and its affiliates have splurged more than $7.5bn since the beginning of the year, most of it in Asia.

The investments, expected to boost Alibaba's valuation, include an online market place in the US, a Chinese football club, a US-based mobile application developer, a Hong-Kong based department store operator and Chinese media assets.