iQIYI was founded on April 22, 2010. In just a few years it has grown into one of China’s leading video websites. Bearing the brand value of “Always Fun, Always Fine” in mind, iQIYI consistently upgrades its technology products and provides high-quality viewing experience. It is also dedicated to providing diversified content by collecting major films, TV dramas, entertainment shows, and animation programs from China and abroad. According to the 2016 Review of the Global Mobile Application Market released by App Annie (an authoritative application market research company), on January 22, 2017, iQIYI was ranked 7th by global revenue, and was the only Chinese company to make it into the top ten.
Content is the important resource for video websites. To meet needs of diverse users and increase competitiveness, iQIYI not only introduces high-quality global content, but also produces its own. Firstly, it has established long-term strategic partnerships with large Chinese and international companies to procure large amounts of content including the latest high-quality and diverse programs. It has also developed a Program Development Center, Department of Web Film Production, iQIYI Motion Pictures, Web Drama Development Center, Department of Anime Venture Capital Business, and other departments to produce its own programs. Its original content is well received by subscribers and viewers both domestically and internationally, including the famous entertainment shows (e.g. U Can U BiBi and the Supermodel series), and drama series (e.g. With You, YU ZUI and The Mystic Nine). Among them, The Mystic Nine was rated as the most popular web drama series in 2016. It was the first original drama receiving over 10 billion hits. In the web film sector, iQIYI makes continued efforts in exploration and improvement, guiding creativity in the industry and market. It was the first large Chinese broadcasting and distribution platform to propose the concept of web films. It was the first to release real data about box-office revenues, and establish transparent industrial regulations. It has also improved professional standards, and encourages the production of high-quality content. In 2016, iQIYI launched the production of its own original programs, and debuted web films such as Legend of Poker King, The Gang Leader, The Eight Immortals In School series, and The Mystic Nine Tetralogy, providing a model for the industry to reduce trial costs. Since its establishment on July 22, 2014, iQIYI Motion Pictures has moved from initial domestic distribution to project investment. I Am Your Mother, the first film it produced, was wrapped during the 2017 Lunar New Year and will be aired later this year.
iQIYI spares no effort in supporting high-quality content and talent training strategies, to inject new and sustainable vitality into the production of high-quality programs and to attract a new generation of filmmakers to participate into the booming development of China’s film and TV industry. In December 2016, iQIYI and Sony Pictures together announced that they had entered a strategic cooperation to jointly produce a series of web films, including Chosen. iQIYI has also officially launched the “Supervised by Masters” program, which invites famous Chinese and international experts to guide the future generation of Chinese directors into the new model of web film producing. The 90-year old Academy Award-winner, Roger Corman, who is known as “The Pope of Pop Cinema”, has been invited to be the first expert in the “Supervised by Masters” program. He will be making his first Chinese web film, Invasion, as an executive producer.
In January 2017, iQIYI announced that it had reached a series of cooperation agreements with Beijing Film Academy. The two organizations will undertake in-depth cooperation in such areas as talent training, work and activity support, IP development, and project funding. Under the auspices of iQIYI, the Academy Awards for Chinese Film and Performing Arts, hosted by Beijing Film Academy, will provide a fair and equal platform for stage performances, screenwriter salons, and young screenwriter training courses. Beijing Film Academy is a well-known cradle for film talents, while iQIYI is in a stage of rapid growth, obtaining high-quality IPs and deploying its layout in the area of derivative development. Through the strategic cooperation between the two parties, talent, creative work, and platforms will be closely interconnected. Young filmmakers will receive high-quality professional platform support; iQIYI will source more high-quality original IPs, and improve its capacity to produce drama series, web films, and movie content.
As the leading video website in China, iQIYI has played a key role in facilitating exchange and communication between Chinese and overseas resources. It has become the first choice for overseas filmmakers when they select their distribution channel in China’s new media market, and it is also an important cooperative partner of overseas companies to purchase Chinese programs. Since 2014, iQIYI has been present at a series international film events and activities, including the European Film Market, the Hong Kong International Film & TV Market, Marché du Film, Venice Film Market, Asian Film Market, and the American Film Market. In 2016, it officially launched its overseas distribution business. Based on movies and original web films, iQIYI sold other cinema line-based films overseas as an agent, such as Lost In White, Something In Blue, Unexpected Love, Mr. Pride VS Miss Prejudice, and Mr. Zhu’s Summer. In less than a year, iQIYI has developed 50 overseas distribution cooperation partnerships, and has successfully promoted Chinese programs to 20 regions across the world. At the beginning of 2017, the Distribution Department was established. In the near future, this department will increase the overseas distribution of original dramas, entertainment shows, and animations. It will also expand its presence at the MIPTV, Seoul International Drama Awards, TIFFCOM, and Asia Television Forum (ATF).
In 2017, iQIYI will focus on producing key web films (e.g. Kungfu Traveler and S-style Show,The Movie), dramas (e.g. The Old Time, Ghost Blows Out The Light–Finding Hubayi, and Burning Ice), entertainment shows (e.g. U Can U BiBi 4, Supermodel 4, and Our Idols(working title)) and animations (e.g. Ling Yu and Deer Run), as well as I Am Your Mother, Even Stronger(working title), and My Town produced by iQIYI Motion Pictures.