BBC Studios Strikes Content Deal With China’s Huawei

BBC Studios and China’s Huawei Video have struck a deal in which British TV content is supplied to Huawei consumer mobile devices in 26 countries. The deal was announced to coincide with the launch of Huawei’s P40 cell phone.

Some 300 hours of drama, comedy and factual shows will be available to stream via Huawei’s smartphone, tablet and other connected device customers. Available shows include: drama “Call the Midwife”; comedy-drama “Ghosts”; dark comedy “Inside No 9”; and the science series “Wonders of the Solar System.”

The agreement follows previous local deals that have been secured for individual titles. It is the first substantial pan-global licensing deal between BBC Studios and Huawei, the BBC said.

The deal covers mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, parts of Asia, some countries in Western and Central Europe, Russia, the Nordics, the Middle East, South Africa and Latin America.

“(The agreement) will take some of the best, boldest and most creative British content directly to many millions of Huawei mobile users across the world,” said Paul Dempsey, president of global distribution at BBC Studios.

“We believe (the BBC’s catalog) will really appeal to both our existing and new customers, as we continue to take Huawei Video to more markets around the world,” said Alex Zhang, president of Huawei Consumer Cloud Service.

Huawei has an often controversial relationship with some Western governments, due to suspicions about the relationship of its phone network gear with the Chinese government. But its consumer devices business is highly successful. Huawei was the world’s third ranked smartphone manufacturer in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to data from Mobile Devices Monitor, with a 14% share, and behind only Apple and Samsung.

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