Headlines from China: Why iQiyi Taps Into Original Films

Why iQiyi Taps Into Original Films

Chinese streaming giant iQiyi recently announced a grand plan for original films. According to the plan, iQiyi will exclusively finance, co-produce and theatrically release original films. In an interview with Ent Group, iQiyi executives explain why they made such a plan. It’s inevitable that iQiyi’s new plan will again draw comparison between iQiyi and Netflix. However, iQiyi Pictures President Ya Ning points out that iQiyi wants to help their original  films achieve theatrical success while Netflix prefers not to theatrically release their films. iQiyi believes that the better a film’s box office is, the better it usually will perform on streaming platforms after its theatrical run. In order to produce films that have the potential to perform well both theatrically and on streaming platforms, iQiyi mainly targets small/mid-budget films that have strong storytelling and less special effects. As the exclusive financier, iQiyi will be the rights holder of their original films, which will allow iQiyi to monetize the films in various ways, including online distribution, IP licensing, and brand integration among others. Read more on Ent Group

Cannes, Venice, Berlin: How They Affect China Box Office

Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, which won the Golden Lion award at the Venice International Film Festival, was released in Chinese theaters last week. So far, the film has only earned less than RMB 4 million ($582,000). While Roma is performing poorly in China, Palme d’Or nominee Capernaum just made over RMB 300 million in China. So can the world’s three major film festivals affect box office in China? According to this analysis from WeChat media account Dushe, Cannes Film Festival is undoubtedly the best known film festival in China partly due to the appearance of top Chinese celebrities on Cannes red carpet in recent years. Previous records show that Cannes films with compelling storytelling usually perform well in China, such as Capernaum and Shoplifters. In comparison, films selected into Berlinale or Venice don’t perform very well. Most Berlinale films seem too political or serious to become crowd-pleasers while Venice films are usually considered too artsy or experimental. Read more on Dushe

Uniqlo Wins Over Chinese Consumers Through IP Licensing

Recently, American fast fashion brand Forever 21 officially announced its exit from the Chinese market. Other well-known fast fashion brands that gave up the China market lately include NEW LOOK and TOPSHOP. As the market landscape and consumer needs change constantly in China, it’s increasingly challenging for foreign fashion brands to maintain continual growth. However, Japanese brand Uniqlo seems to be doing very well. In addition to good quality, one main reason behind Uniqlo’s success in China is its integration of popular film and game IPs in its designs. Over the past two years, Uniqlo has partnered with various popular IPs that are loved by Chinese consumers, such as NARUTO, Disney and Nintendo. Read more on jingxiangyule