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China’s Tencent invests in film, TV biz

Giant webco will expand across media industries

BEIJING — Giant Chinese webco Tencent is setting up a 500 million yuan ($77 million) war chest to invest in the film and TV biz, as the dotcom expands beyond its traditional Internet offerings.

“It’s our new cross-industry strategy and it will boost our revenue and improve our ability to compete in the long term,” prexy Liu Zhiping said in a statement to local media.

Shenzhen-based Tencent operates the wildly popular QQ instant message service, which has 600 million users, along with video, music and e-commerce services.

The group said it was seeking media partners for investment and co-operation opportunities.

Besides direct investment, Tencent and film companies can share their experience in product development and services, said Wang Zhongjun, chairman of Huayi Brothers Media Corp.

The move meets the national policy of Three Network Convergence, which refers to the integration among Internet, mobile and TV networks.

The statement also included comments from Bona Group founder and CEO Yu Dong, calling for greater integration of the industry.

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