CHINESE streaming giant iQiyi together with mainboard-listed entertainment and content provider GHY Culture & Media Holding are gunning for a slice of the media and entertainment pie in South-east Asia.
In a newly-inked memorandum of understanding (MOU), the two entities will jointly set up a Singapore-based talent management agency in a bid to identify and promote talent in the region. A talent search programme, which will be streamed exclusively on the iQiyi International streaming platform and iQ.com, is also in the works.
Nasdaq-listed iQiyi was founded in 2010 and backed by Chinese Internet giant Baidu. It has since grown into one of the most popular streaming services in China. GHY, on the other hand, listed on the Singapore Exchange in December last year and primarily produces and promotes dramas, films and concerts in the Asia-Pacific region.
The success of GHY’s adapted version of the hit Singapore TV drama The Little Nyonya demonstrates a growing appetite for South-east Asian stories, said Kuek Yu-Chuang, iQiyi’s vice-president of international business, in a press statement on Wednesday.
The joint venture with GHY also cements iQiyi’s commitment to the region following the launch of its international headquarters in Singapore in December last year, said Mr Kuek.
Executive chairman and group chief executive officer of GHY Guo Jingyu said that South-east Asia had been earmarked as a growth market and the investment will boost its presence in the region.
“As we diversify our pipeline of multi-genre dramas and films, it is crucial to identify local talent to support our growth ambitions,” he said.
iQiyi International is also working with GHY on its first South-east Asian original production, The Ferryman: Legends of Nanyang, which will be released later this year. The series will star local veteran actor Tay Ping Hui who is set to be represented by the new talent management agency.
The TV series, which is an adaptation of iQiyi’s 2014 Chinese cult-classic The Ferry Man, will also feature other familiar names including actors Lawrence Wong, Kate Kinney, Qi Yuwu and Jeanette Aw.
Said Yang Xianghua, iQiyi’s president of membership and overseas business group: “With iQiyi’s technical abilities and commitment to providing high-quality Asia content to global users, and GHY’s deep experience and end-to-end production expertise, we look forward to providing South-east Asian talents a gateway to one of the biggest entertainment markets in the world, turning them into household names.”
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