Chinese Video Giant iQiyi Hires Former Netflix Executive for Global Expansion

Chinese video streamer iQiyi is building an international management team as it looks to expand overseas.

The Nasdaq-listed Chinese video streaming giant has poached Kuek Yu-Chuang from its U.S. rival Netflix, hiring him as vice president of international business to oversee its strategic planning, marketing, business development and public affairs functions for its overseas businesses, according to a statement published Wednesday.

Kuek will report to Yang Xianghua, president of iQiyi’s membership and overseas business group, who believes that Kuek’s vision and experience will help iQiyi build a global streaming ecosystem, the statement said.

In a statement, Kuek said that he will “deliver iQiyi’s brand concept, unique entertainment content and services to users globally.”

Kuek started his career with the Singaporean government and joined Netflix in 2016. Prior to iQiyi’s appointment, he was vice president of public policy for Asia Pacific at Netflix.

Kuek’s appointment comes six months after Baidu-backed iQiyi hired a former BBC executive to take charge of its operations in Thailand. Currently, iQiyi is expanding its footprint in Southeast Asia through local in-house teams and partnerships with local companies.

In November 2019, iQiyi officially kicked off its global expansion plans with the launch of an international version of its app offering content and search functions in multiple languages including Chinese, English, Thai, Malay, Indonesian and Vietnamese among others.

iQiyi said that its net losses widened to 2.9 billion yuan ($406 million) in the first quarter of 2020 from 1.8 billion yuan a year ago, even though it posted a year-on-year increase of 23% in the number of subscribing members in the period.

In December last year, iQiyi founder and CEO Gong Yu revealed during an interview with Reuters that the company aimed for half of its paying subscribers to come from overseas within the next five years.


– This article originally appeared on Caixin Global.