Alibaba Group Holding Ltd Brings DisneyLife to China


Chinese online retailer Alibaba has teamed up with Walt Disney to bring its DisneyLife platform to China. In a press release this morning, Alibaba said it has signed a multi-year licensing deal for Walt Disney’s over-the-top content service to bring the animation powerhouse’s videos and other offerings to China for the first time.

Alibaba signs a comprehensive deal

Alibaba describes DisneyLife as “the only holistic home-based kids and family digital destination” available in China, and it’s much more than just streaming video. It includes Disney’s and Pixar’s most popular films, animated series, games, e-books, songs, travel offerings, and information on Disney theme parks which can be used for planning trips to them.

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Interested consumers can preorder the device which supports DisneyLife and features a Mickey Mouse theme at Alibaba’s Tmall starting today. The price is RMB 799 (US$125). The device includes a one-year base package subscription to DisneyLife.

Battle for Disney content

Disney’s content is highly popular in the United States as multiple video streaming services competed for exclusive licensing deals. In the past, Netflix had the exclusive streaming rights for much of Disney’s video content in the U.S. and still holds exclusive rights to some of the content, including the Marvel original series Daredevil (Disney owns the Marvel brand.).

Although Disney has publicly been supportive of Netflix over other streaming services as recently as last month, its DisneyLife over-the-top platform is seen as a major competitor in the U.K. where it is being offered. However, what many don’t take into consideration when naming DisneyLife as a Netflix competitor is that Disney’s streaming service specifically targets children and families, while Netflix’s services offers a variety of content for all ages. As a result, DisneyLife might be considered as a supplementary service rather than a competing one.

A win for Alibaba

Either way, Alibaba’s deal with Walt Disney for its DisneyLife platform is a huge win for the company. Clearly the Chinese online retailer doesn’t see DisneyLife as a competitor as it launched its own Netflix-like video streaming service in September. Among the popular Disney movies and TV shows that become available to Chinese consumers through this licensing deal are Frozen, Cinderella, Big Hero 6, Toy Story, Monsters Universities, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Little Einstein, My Friends Tigger and Pooh, and more.

As of this writing, shares of Netflix are up 1.52% at $122.51 per share, while Alibaba stock is up 2.35% at $82.49 per share.

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Michelle Jones is editor-in-chief for and has been with the site since 2012. Previously, she was a television news producer for eight years. She produced the morning news programs for the NBC affiliates in Evansville, Indiana and Huntsville, Alabama and spent a short time at the CBS affiliate in Huntsville. She has experience as a writer and public relations expert for a wide variety of businesses. Email her at [email protected]
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