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Warner Inks Chinese Streaming Deal With iQiyi

21 Mar, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Chinese distributor market

Warner Bros. has upped its presence in China signing a distribution agreement with iQiyi, a streaming video provider owned by search behemoth Baidu.

Under the deal, iQiyi gets rights to 200 movies (Gravity, Godzilla, etc.), including reportedly exclusive rights to the Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Great Gatsby, among others.

The Chinese service, which also has agreements with 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate, Sony Pictures, Disney, Paramount, Universal and Studiocanal, among others, is competing against Chinese competitors Tencent Video and Youku Tudou, among others, as streaming video explodes in a lucrative market that thus far has seen government officials deny access to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Google. 

Earlier this month, iQiyi acquired rights to Oscar winners Moonlight and La La Land.

Earlier this year, Warner announced it was partnering with Dolby Laboratories, Tencent Video and Skyworth to bring 4K Ultra HD movies to China.

In January, iQiyi reportedly raised $1.5 billion in funding for expansion and content acquisition and development.

China, with about 80% Internet connectivity, reportedly has the largest population of online video consumers at more than 450 million.

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