China’s Tencent Hatches Penguin Pictures

Chinese social media giant Tencent said Friday that it has set up Penguin Pictures (Shanghai), a new movie production unit.

The company will focus on online drama and make minority investments in feature films, as well as establishing its own pool of talent under management.

In total Penguin will back 10-15 movies per year.

Tencent last year set up a film production unit called Tencent Pictures. The social media giant is already an investor in “Monster Hunt,” and provided the intellectual property for “Dragon Nest,” which was adapted from one of its games. It revealed that it is also a minority investor in upcoming”Little Door Gods,” an animation that will be distributed by Alibaba Pictures Group.

It is not clear whether Penguin is the new name for Tencent Pictures, a replacement structure, or a parallel unit.

Tencent, which is listed in Hong Kong and this week saw its market capitalization overtake that of Alibaba, is also a major investor in Huayi Brothers Media, China’s leading private sector film conglomerate.

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