Nasdaq-listed video streaming platform Bilibili is making an equity investment in Hong Kong-traded film production company Huanxi Media in an attempt to enrich its content offering beyond anime, comics and games.
Bilibili has agreed to subscribe for about 347 million shares of Huanxi at HK$1.48 ($0.19) apiece in a deal that will enable Bilibili to take a 9.9% stake in the film production firm, according to a stock filing on Monday.
In addition to the share purchase deal, the two companies have also signed a five-year agreement, under which Bilibili will have the exclusive online broadcasting rights to Huanxi’s films and TV dramas, with all revenues generated from licensed content broadcasted on Bilibili’s platforms to be shared between the two parties, according to the filing.
As part of the five-year pact, Bilibili will also be given priority to invest in film and TV projects that are majority owned by Huanxi, and will work with Huanxi to develop related products of Huanxi’s film and TV content, the filing added.
“We are actively broadening and diversifying our content to appeal to a wider audience,” Bilibili COO Carly Lee said in a statement. She added that Huanxi’s library of quality content and their connections with China’s top directors will help Bilibili drive more and diverse demographics to its industry-leading entertainment platform.
The deals between Bilibili and Huanxi come as the Covid-19 pandemic, which caused shutdowns of many cinemas across China, has contributed to the trend of more people watching films online.
In late January when the virus started spreading across China, Huanxi-produced blockbuster, “Lost in Russia”, which had been set for an exclusive theatrical release on the first day of the Lunar New Year on January 25, was released on ByteDance-owned platforms Xigua Video, Douyin and Jinri Toutiao instead.
Contact reporter Ding Yi (firstname.lastname@example.org)