×

Tencent Unit Buys New Classics Media for $2.25 Billion

China Literature, the publishing subsidiary of Chinese e-commerce giant Tencent, has bought control of leading Chinese film and TV producer New Classics Media for up to $2.25 billion (RMB15.45 billion). The price includes an earnings component, reflecting profits to 2020.

New Classics Media has produced films “Never Say Die” and “Legend of the Demon Cat” and TV series “The First Half of My Life” and “Tiger Mom.”

The news was announced in a regulatory filing to the Hong Kong stock market, where China Literature is listed.

Tencent says the acquisition of such a major TV production house will help it unlock the potential of its vast literary library. It notes that a third of the top 50 movies and a quarter of the top TV series in China are literary adaptations. The figure rises to more than 50% for web series.

Integrating New Classics Media will allow Tencent “to adapt more high-quality literary content into popular television series, web series and films leveraging [New Classics Media’s] proven track record of script development and production across multiple literary genres,” China Literature said in the filing. “The prevalence of mobile Internet has propelled large Internet platforms to seek additional content offerings in order to capture a greater proportion of the fragmented user time of Chinese Internet users. The video portal has become the premier destination for audio-visual entertainment to Chinese consumers.”

Tencent, which stretches from games to social media, also operates Tencent Video, one of China’s top three generalist video-streaming platforms.

Earlier this year Tencent bought a 27% stake in New Classics Media from Enlight Media. The new transaction gives China Literature outright control. New Classics had until earlier this year itself considered an IPO and share listing.

The filing shows New Classics Media made net profits of RMB161 million in 2016, and more than doubled that to RMB376 million in 2017.

Both New Classics Media and Tencent Video were last week among the nine major TV producers to sign an industry agreement capping the salaries of stars in its TV series.

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Mass Appeal and Universal Launch Hip-Hop

    Nas, Mass Appeal and Universal Music Launch Hip-Hop Label in India, Sign Divine

    Mass Appeal and Universal Music Group today announced the launch of Mass Appeal India – a new label dedicated to amplifying India’s burgeoning hip-hop culture on a global scale. The new label’s operations will be based Universal Music India’s headquarters in Mumbai and will function as a multi-channel partnership between the two companies. According to the announcement, Mass Appeal India will sign and [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein, center, arrives to court

    Weinstein's Attorneys Seek to Move Trial to Long Island or Albany

    Harvey Weinstein’s attorneys want his rape trial moved to Long Island or Albany, citing the “circus-like atmosphere” surrounding the courthouse in Manhattan. Weinstein is set to go on trial on Sept. 9 on five charges of rape and sexual assault. The disgraced producer faces a potential life term if convicted. In a motion to the [...]

  • AtmosphereThe Current State of Play in

    New York’s PlayStation Theater to Close (EXCLUSIVE)

    New York’s PlayStation Theater, a 2,100-capacity venue located in Times Square and operated by Bowery Presents, will close at the end of 2019, a source close to the situation tells Variety. The venue will close with a New Year’s series of shows from the Disco Biscuits. The theater, which is located two stories beneath the [...]

  • Courtesy of Earwolf

    How Lauren Lapkus Tossed the Script and Created a Podcasting Hit

    Lauren Lapkus has tossed the script on what makes most podcasts a hit. At a time when many of the most downloaded shows are true crime investigations or celebrity interviews, she’s doing something entirely different on each episode of “With Special Guest Lauren Lapkus.” Each hour-long installment is a free-wheeling, completely improvised ride. One show [...]

  • WWE NXT

    WWE's 'NXT' Moves to USA Network as Wrestling Competition Heats Up

    WWE has struck a deal to move its “NXT” franchise focusing on rising stars to USA Network starting next month. “NXT” will shift to USA from the WWE Network subscription streaming service as of Sept. 18. The deal comes as USA is about to lose WWE’s “SmackDown” showcase to Fox starting in October. USA is [...]

  • Shazam

    Apple Music Launches 'Shazam Discovery' Chart, Focused on New Artists

    Apple Music today launched the “Shazam Discovery Top 50,” a weekly, global ranking of 50 artists that it describes as “on the move and trending” — in other words, new and emerging artists. While the company wouldn’t say much specifically about how the chart is tabulated, it uses “Shazam’s proprietary algorithms [to offer] a unique predictive view [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content