Search Giant Baidu Puts $303M into Nuomi Pictures Film Fund

  • Search giant’s film arm putting RMB 2B into 30 movies
  • Over 2 yrs, Nuomi plans animated, live action, and kids pics
  • Like Alibaba, Baidu plans to tap big data to reduce film risk

Baidu Nuomi Pictures, the film arm of Chinese Internet search giant Baidu, will invest RMB 2 billion (U.S.$303 million) in a film fund, the company said on Thursday at the Shanghai International Film Festival.

Over the next two years, the company will invest in at least 30 movies including animated films, live action films and several targeting Chinese youth.

Baidu Nuomi Chief Executive Officer Zeng Liang said the company hoped both to earn billions at the box office as well as push the Chinese film industry forward with the fund.

Xu Yongming, general manager of Baidu Nuomi, said the company will invest in quality film projects, talent development, and marketing and distribution.

Xu likened the company to a service provider or utility for the world’s second largest film market, emphasizing its strengths in big data and as an online ticket provider.

Baidu, China’s largest search engine—whose users reached 663 million in March—bought Nuomi from social networking site Renren for $160 million in cash in August 2013.

Xu said Baidu Nuomi will bring new efficiency to the film industry, analyzing  big data to reduce risks when investing in films, a trend also adopted by  competitors such as e-commerce giant Alibaba, which also has moved into China’s movie business .

Nuomi already has been active in a number of film projects and Xu signaled there would be investments in things other content on the horizon.

“So far we have have had deep cooperation with partners on about 100 hundred film projects, totaling over RMB 30 billion,” Xu said. “In the future, the fund will focus on several areas including IP, theaters, derivatives, content, advertising and technology and equity investment.”