Alibaba Acquires Chinese Ticketing Service Damai

SHANGHAI China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) has fully acquired online ticketing platform, the e-commerce giant said on Tuesday, marking a further push into entertainment by the firm as it expands beyond its core online retail business.

Damai claims to have hundreds of millions registered users, and has sold tickets for over 1.8M events in 330 cities worldwide.

"[The acquisition] continues an earnest three-year romance", said Alibaba in a post on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter.

This strategic deal comes as Alibaba focuses on growing its entertainment businesses which includes Alibaba Pictures, Youku Tudou, Alibaba Music, Alibaba Sports, Alibaba Games, Alibaba Literature, and Alibaba Digital Entertainment Divisions.

Alibaba said in a statement to THR that the full takeover of Damai "fits nicely into our "health and happiness" strategy and forms a strategic part of the value chain in our media and entertainment business".

Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Group CEO and Chairman Yu Yongfu, said the aim of the deal is to "create synergy and maximise the branding effect" across the group. 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.