The titles include 58-episode show “Eternal Love,” a period drama starring Yang Mi and Mark Chao; 30-episode “Love O2O,” a modern drama starring Yang Yang and Zheng Shuang; 54-episode “Princess Weiyoung,” a period drama starring Tiffany Tang and Luo Jin, an onscreen couple who got married in real life last year; and 62-episode “General and I,” a period drama starring Angelababy and Wallace Chung.
The 41-episode “Negotiator,” starring Yang Mi and Huang Zitao, who rose to fame as a rapper in the K-pop group EXO, will air as a Viki Original, as will 47-episode “Age of Legends,” starring William Chan and Sandra Ma, and “My Story for You, starring Zheng Shuang and Luo Jin.
“Our watch time for Chinese content has grown exponentially in the last few years, so we’re excited to answer our global audiences’ growing appetite for more mega-hits from China,” Sarah Kim, Rakuten Viki’s SVP of content and partnerships, said.
Most of the company’s content is subtitled into more than 200 languages by fan communities who want to bring their favorite content to global audiences. The platform counts 40 million fans worldwide in more than 190 countries.
Croton Media CEO Liu Zhi said: “We are pleased to be the very first production company to work with Rakuten Viki on distributing Viki Originals in the Chinese drama category on their platform.”
Croton Media seeks to “disseminate Chinese culture through dramas” and “tell the story of China to the world,” Liu said, echoing common refrains from Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has used such phrases to encourage companies to boost China’s image and soft power abroad.
Croton Media, a TV drama production and distribution company, was established in Shanghai in 2003, and in 2013 came under the full ownership of Huace Film and TV in a $269 million deal that was, at the time, the biggest deal in China of its kind.