China video streamer iQiyi sees worth hikes at house, gold overseas

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SINGAPORE (Information) – Chinese language video streaming firm iQiyi hopes to have as many as half its subscribers in abroad markets in 5 years regardless of Sino-U.S. commerce tensions and elevated authorities censorship at house, founder and chief govt Gong Yu instructed Information in an interview.

FILE PHOTO: An indication of Chinese language video-streaming platform iQiyi Inc is pictured on the Beijing Worldwide Cultural and Artistic Business Expo, in Beijing, China Could 29, 2019. Information/Stringer

The corporate, China’s reply to Netflix, has its sights set on Southeast Asia, the place it’s signing advertising and marketing offers with native companions. It additionally working to promote white-label variations of its streaming platform all over the world, Gong mentioned in a presentation on the Asia TV Discussion board in Singapore.

iQiyi, which is backed by search engine big Baidu, has been locked in a fierce battle with Tencent’s video web site and Alibaba-backed Youku Tudou in China. It presents Netflix-style subscriptions for TV exhibits and films alongside ad-supported, user-generated video choices which can be extra like YouTube.

In November, iQiyi mentioned it had 105.eight million subscribers whereas Tencent Video mentioned it had almost 100 million paid subscribers on the finish of June.

Gong mentioned the market in China had stabilized after a interval of intense competitors for subscribers and premium content material, laying the groundwork for worth hikes of 10% to 20% within the second half of 2020. He additionally signaled that the extended cash-burning battle with its rivals might quickly be over.

“The video market sooner or later goes to be an oligopoly market,” Gong instructed Information. “At the moment the market share of iQiyi and Tencent video is about the identical. Youku is half of that of iQiyi. So presently we have already got a fairly steady 2+1 standing.”

“The steadiness, which began second half of final yr, is useful in lowering the competitiveness of the market…We, the three gamers, suppose the associated fee is simply too excessive. We burnt an excessive amount of cash.”

New content material restrictions imposed by the federal government final yr had raised prices for the corporate, Gong mentioned, however he was hopeful that “the affect will steadily peter out.”

However the U.S.-China commerce struggle stays an impediment for the corporate, which is traded on the New York-based NASDAQ.

“70% of our buyers are from the U.S. so a commerce struggle between the U.S. and China will decrease American buyers’ confidence in Chinese language firms, make it tougher for us (to obtain) funding. (It) makes it arduous for us to do fundraising,” Gong mentioned.

(This story refiles to right final identify to Gong in paragraph two)

Reporting by Jonathan Weber; Extra Reporting by Pei Li in Beijing; Modifying by Christina Fincher