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China's Alibaba registers film company in Hong Kong

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has registered a film company in Hong Kong, according to a regulatory filing, as the world's biggest e-commerce firm ratchets up its media businesses.

The company, Alibaba Pictures Group, was previously registered in April as Alibaba Films Group before changing its name later in the month.

Alibaba is preparing for its U.S. listing later this year, potentially the biggest ever tech offering, even as it maintains a steady stream of investments that has seen the firm and its affiliates invest more than $6.2 billion since the beginning of the year.

Alibaba officials declined to comment.

The company and its affiliates have spent more than $3 billion on film and television investments, including online video site Youku Tudou Inc, cable and Internet TV firm Wasu Media Holding Co Ltd and ChinaVision Media Group Ltd.

The directors of Alibaba Pictures Group were listed in the filing as Dong Ping, chairman of ChinaVision, and Zhao Chao, also an executive director of ChinaVision.

In March, Alibaba bought a controlling stake in ChinaVision for $804 million, giving the e-commerce company access to TV and movie content.

The companies said at the time they would establish a strategic committee to explore online entertainment and media.

Alibaba Group has its own digital entertainment arm within the company, which is responsible for mobile games and music-streaming service Xiami.

Joe Tsai, Alibaba's executive vice chair, told Reuters in March that the company aims to sell more digital content in the future in addition to the physical goods it helps people buy now.

(Reporting by Paul Carsten; Additional reporting by Anne Marie Roantree in HONG KONG; Editing by Richard Pullin and Matt Driskill)

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