China’s tech giants are increasingly coveting entertainment assets, heating up competition for intellectual property.

most popular virtual idols, backed Weinian, article

ByteDance and Alibaba Pictures, the e-commerce giant’s entertainment and film division, invested in Yuehua Entertainment in a move to fortify their intellectual property portfolios.

Founded in 2009, Yuehua Entertainment boasts a formidable lineup of talent in China’s entertainment market, including stars Han Geng,  Wang Yibo, Meng Meiqi, Wu Xuanyi, and Fan Chengcheng.

The company has also developed a virtual pop idol group, A-Soul, whose members teamed up at the end of 2020. A-Soul consists of five digital avatars that were the most popular virtual idols on streaming platform Bilibili. ByteDance will be looking to build the group’s popularity on its own entertainment platforms like Douyin. Investment in virtual idols is climbing, as Xiaoice raised fresh capital from Hillhouse Capital and GGV Capital, while Tencent is looking to recruit its own digital personalities.

The investment in Yuehua Entertainment marks ByteDance’s second investment in the entertainment industry this month, after it backed Weinian, a multichannel networking company that counts famous YouTuber Li Ziqi among its talent roster.

In March 2020, ByteDance funneled RMB 180 million (USD 28 million) into Mountaintop Entertainment, which manages popular talents including actresses Angelababy, Zhou Dongyu, Chen He, and Janine Chang. In addition to working with established stars, Mountaintop Entertainment also incubates a host of internet celebrities who are trying to capture fame on short-video and livestreaming platforms like Douyin and Kuaishou.

KrASIA Connection features translated and adapted content published by 36Kr. This article was originally written by Wang Yuchan for 36Kr.


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