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Chinese Video Giant iQiyi Eyes Southeast Asian Markets with Three New Hires

By Ding Yi / Jul 22, 2020 12:35 PM / World

Photo: IC

Photo: IC

Nasdaq-listed video streamer iQiyi has hired three industry veterans to help it better navigate key Southeast Asian markets.

The Baidu-backed company has appointed Sherwin Dela Cruz as country manager of the Philippines; Dinesh Ratnam as country manager of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei; and Steven Zhang as country manager of Indonesia, the company said in a statement Monday.

All three will be responsible for the localization and development of iQiyi’s business in their respective Southeast Asian markets, according to the statement.

Both Dela Cruz and Ratnam previously worked at iFlix, a Malaysia-based video streaming platform which was recently acquired by Tencent, while Zhang comes from Chinese livestreaming platform JOYY.

In announcing the new hires, Yang Xianghua, president of the membership and overseas business group at iQiyi, said that the three executives will help iQiyi boost its presence in Southeast Asia with their local market development expertise, especially at a time when cultural barriers remain a key obstacle to the company’s global expansion.

In 2019, iQiyi officially kicked off its global expansion with a focus on Southeast Asia, where it has established ties with local partners like Malaysian media brand Astro to launch localization activities. In the same year, iQiyi also launched the international version of its app, which offers content and search functions in multiple languages including Chinese, English, Thai, Malay, Indonesian and Vietnamese among others.

The announcement comes more than a month after iQiyi hired former Netflix executive Kuek Yu-Chuang as vice president of international business to oversee strategic planning, marketing, business development and public affairs functions for its overseas business.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Shares of Baidu-Backed iQiyi Jump After Reuters Reports Tencent Seeking Majority Stake


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