The co-CEO of Hollywood’s most prestigious and powerful entertainment agency, William Morris Endeavor (WME), is wooing Alibaba CEO Jack Ma. And for good reason. China’s richest man (worth $25 billion) just led Alibaba, China’s largest retailer, to its record-breaking American IPO in September.
Sources say Emanuel has “made it a personal mission to become Ma’s unofficial adviser on all things Hollywood.” Emanuel recently escorted Ma to a Lakers game, and has visited Ma at his Shanghai office last week. Why Ma? Why China? In 2007, the country had about 3,000 movie screens, today there are more than 17,000. It’s the perfect environment for WME clients including film directors JJ Abrams, Michael Bay, Ridley Scott, Quentin Tarantino, among others.