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Leading Chinese auteur, Chen Kaige (“The Legend of the Demon Cat,“ “Farewell my Concubine“) is to shoot a series for mainland Chinese streaming service iQIYI.

“The Eight“ is Chen’s first foray into long form series. He will also act as executive producer of the show.

The story is set in China and Paris, France in the early Chinese revolutionary period at the beginning of the 20th Century. It features a young man who has both Chinese and Western roots. He becomes sucked into the underworld while simultaneously attempting to save the Chinese revolution, which could easily be stifled by opposition forces.

“The rise of premium Internet drama has opened up a huge space for creative innovation,“ said Chen in a prepared statement.

IQIYI, which has been spun out of China’s leading search engine group Baidu, recently raised some USD2.5 billion from an IPO on Nasdaq.

The company is now engaged in a wide ranging campaign to develop and acquire original content. In addition to giving it unique properties that are unavailable to its competitors, original IP is used to attract and convert users of its free to use advertising-supported tiers into paying subscribers.

It’s series “Tientsin Mystic“ and “Burning Ice“ were among 2017 commissions that will play on Netflix, following a content licensing deal.