Chinese video streaming platform iQiyi is launching a film company, iQiyi Films, which aims to develop a new internet-oriented business model for film production.
The new outfit will produce eight films a year, including seven domestic films and one Hollywood film, according to reports on Xinhuanet.
iQiyi founder and CEO Gong Yu said the company will use its online platform to raise film funding, gather market research through “big data”, promote movies, sell tickets and develop additional revenue streams such as merchandising and online games. It will work with more traditional film companies to produce and theatrically distribute films.
Li Yansong, the former general manager of iQiyi’s value-added business services division, has been appointed to run iQiyi Films.
The new outfit will also work with iQiyi’s main investor, internet giant Baidu, on areas such as marketing, online gaming and e-commerce. It also plans to work with Baidu’s financial services operation and payment gateway.
The move comes as China’s online video platforms are facing tighter censorship. China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) recently warned seven companies, including Zhejiang TV, BesTV and Wasu Online, that their licenses will be revoked if they breach censorship laws.