Following a recent pact with Philippines broadcaster ABS-CBN, streaming platform iQiyi International has revealed its first Filipino original series. At Busan’s Asian Contents & Film Market it is also launching four originals from South Korea, and others from Thailand and Malaysia.
The streamer is the overseas offshoot of NASDAQ-listed Chinese streaming firm iQiyi. Based in Singapore, it is able to invest in and acquire different content from the mainland Chinese service and operate under different censorship and regulatory conditions.
“Saying Goodbye” follow the story of an unlikely pair brought together by their love for music and adventure. It stars Andrea Brillantes and Seth Fedelin whose acting careers as a couple took off with successful TV drama “Kadenang Ginto” and have become an on-screen couple known to fans as ‘SethDrea.’
“Hello, Heart” will star singer-musician Gigi De Lana, and Gerald Anderson in a romantic comedy about a beautiful, perky and hard working. She has had a run of bad luck but finally meets her lucky charm, an emotionless, business-as-usual man, who hires the woman to pretend to be his wife and please his grandmother.
Both series are set to premiere worldwide as exclusives on iQiyi International, later this year.
While Korean content is subject to an unofficial embargo in mainland China, iQIYI International is competing with non-Chinese streamers to stock up on Korean dramas that are achieving growing cross-border popularity. In addition to previously announced titles, it is announcing four more at the Busan ACFM.
In “Crazy Love,” a genius maths tutor played by Kim Jaeuck receives a death threat and tries to seek out the murderer by pretending to suffer memory loss. He enters into a sham marriage with his introverted secretary (played by Krystal Jung). Between them, a scary yet sweet romance blossoms. The show is directed by Kim Jung Hyun (“Awaken”) and produced with Story Hunter Productions.
“Us At One Point,” produced by GTist (“Hometown Cha Cha Cha,” “Hotel Deluna”), is a tragic love story centered on reincarnations and a couple trying to save each other from a curse where they have to endure the pain of being unable to be together no matter how many times they have met.
“My Oppa Is An Idol,” is an original produced with Studio N, a production company owned by Naver, South Korea’s largest webtoon publisher. It is an amusing story of the chaos that follows when a fussy entertainment agency representative, a famous idol, and the idol’s most loyal fan all start living under the same roof.
“Weekday Wife” is an upcoming romantic comedy, where a woman groomed as a rich heiress radically rejects the marriage by chaebol family. This series is a production partnership with Studio605.
The streamer also revealed a first glimpse of its Studio Dragon-produced detective action-drama series “Bad and Crazy” directed by Yu Sun-Dong. Starring Lee Dong Wook and Wi Ha Jun, the series is set to air from December. IQiyi’s previously announced “Shooting Stars,” a story set in the entertainment industry, is in advanced pre-production and will star Lee Sung-kyoung and Kim Young-dae.
Its Thai series include melodrama “Only You I Need,” and Gen Y The Series 2, both of which will be available from the fourth quarter of 2021,
iQiyi’s Malay content includes “Gerak Khas Undercover,” a police procedural action series, and “Cukup Derita Itu Part 2,” a drama about non-identical twins. Availability begins later this year.
“Over the past year, we’ve seen a very positive trend of international viewers consuming more Asian content as a whole. iQiyi will double down its investment in introducing premium pan-Asian content to the world. We are excited to play a crucial role in putting Asian content front and center in collaboration with top-notch creators and talents from Korea and the Philippines to bring compelling original stories to our users in 191 territories,” said Kuek Yu-Chuang, iQiyi’s VP of international business.