Alibaba to Make Movies With Crowdfunding Idea

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New York Times - Dealbook | By NEIL GOUGH | March 26, 2014

Alibaba to make movies with crowdfunding“Hey, brother, have you invested in Zhang Ziyi?”

So begins a cartoon advertisement referring to Ms. Zhang, an actress, for the latest retail investment product from the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

On Wednesday, Alibaba used Sina Weibo, a microblogging service in China, to announce its most recent push into innovative finance: a form of crowdfunding for Chinese movies. Investors were offered an expected annual interest rate of 7 percent for putting up as little as 100 renminbi, or $16.

The new investment product, called Yu Le Bao, or Entertainment Treasure, is marketed as a way for ordinary Chinese to play a minirole as a film producer. Alibaba said investors could suggest what films should be made and who should direct and star in them.

Alibaba said an initial batch of four projects — three films and one social networking game — together were aiming for total financing of 73 million renminbi. They include a fourth installment in the “Tiny Times” series of films, as well as a screen adaptation of the popular 2004 novel “Wolf Totem.”

View:  How crowdfunding is changing the way movies are funded, Geist

Yu Le Bao is the latest example of how Alibaba’s novel online investment offerings are encroaching on the staid state-owned banking system. By offering returns of as much as 7 percent, about twice the maximum interest rate that traditional banks are permitted to pay on a benchmark savings deposit, Alibaba is steadily amassing a share of China’s trillions of dollars in household savings.

Alibaba is also moving forward with plans for an initial public offering of stock in the United States, which analysts have said could raise more than the $16 billion that Facebook achieved two years ago.

In June, the company introduced a money market product called Yu’e Bao, which translates as Leftover Treasure. As of last month, 81 million people had signed up for the product, which had $40 billion in assets under management.

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada crowdfunding hub providing education, advocacy and networking opportunities in the rapidly evolving crowdfunding industry. NCFA Canada is a community-based, membership-driven entity that was formed at the grass roots level to fill a national need in the market place. Join our growing network of industry stakeholders, fundraisers and investors. Increase your organization’s profile and gain access to a dynamic group of industry front runners. Learn more About Us | Prezi or contact us at casano@ncfacanada.org.

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