Chinese web giant Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) today launched a new personal investment fund that lets users crowd-invest in upcoming movies and television shows. Baifa Youxi (百发有戏; translates to “Baifa Me”) promises the same eight percent interest rate as the original Baifa fund, with returns reaching as high as 16 percent, according to Techweb.
According to China’s Caixin (hat-tip Forbes ), the new division will make use of Tencent’s existing intellectual property from its gaming and comics divisions. Among the seven films that Tencent claims are currently in pre-production, four of them originate from one of the company’s video games. It’s also working on an adaptation of Mo Yan’s novella “Treasure Map.” Tencent COO Ren Yuxing said in a statement that the company aims to merge content across its numerous branches, while creating a movie viewing experience that integrates both the online and offline worlds.
Chinese media and entertainment group Enlight Media will invest about CNY385 million to acquire the animation company Bluearc Animation and the mobile game company Refeng Network. According to the company’s announcement, Enlight Media will invest CNY176 million to acquire a 51% stake in Refeng Network. After Refeng Network achieves its performance goals for the next three years, Enlight Media will acquire the remaining 49% stake. During the transaction, Refeng Network’s overall valuation reportedly reached CNY346 million. Refeng Network is mainly engaged in the development and operation of mobile Internet games.
BEIJING–E-commerce giant Alibaba Group is expanding its online entertainment presence by investing US$1.2 billion with a partner in video website Youku Tudou. Alibaba will gain a 16.5-percent stake in the company and its partner Yunfeng Capital will get 2 percent, Youku Tudou Inc. said Monday. China’s major Internet companies have invested billions of dollars over the past year to expand beyond their core businesses by creating or acquiring entertainment, consumer finance and other services.
China’s ongoing cleanup of objectionable content on the web has claimed a bunch of new – and perhaps surprising – casualties. China’s media regulator has ordered the country’s video streaming sites to remove four American TV series: The Big Bang Theory, The Good Wife, The Practice, and NCIS. The sites affected – including Youku (NYSE:YOKU) and Sohu’s (NASDAQ:SOHU) video portal, which pay to license the shows from US broadcasters – have not been given a reason for these bans, according to the Associated Press.
First launched in March 2014, Hollywood HD is an online movie streaming platform available only in Thailand. It’s made by the same team as Ploenjit Media Company Limited, which developed the AIS Mobile British Premier League app. When talking about movie streaming, the first name many people think of is Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX). In the US, Netflix account for almost half of the country’s downstream internet traffic.
LOS ANGELES: Sony’s PlayStation Network has followed online media giants Netflix and Amazon in commissioning its first original drama series, a spokesman said Thursday. “Powers”, based on a comic book of the same name, combines the genres of superhero fantasy, crime noir and police procedural, and is produced by Sony Pictures, he said.
Popular Japanese messenger Line has announced it will soon launch an app that streams family-friendly movies, reports The Bridge. According to a post on its official blog (which we’re reading using Google Translate), the films will all be geared towards children aged up to six years old, and will include over 1,500 well-known titles such as “Pokemon,” “Spongebob Squarepants,” and “Powerpuff girls.” iPhone owners in Japan will be the first to check out the new app, with an Android version set to arrive in Spring 2014 – and since it’s already Spring 2014, that probably means “soon.”