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Tencent looks to the final frontier

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Another week, another Tencent deal. The acquisitive internet giant is the latest tech firm to knock on Hollywood’s door. Late last month it announced it had bought a 10% stake in Skydance Media for around $150 million. The studio is responsible for producing a number of top film franchises including Star Trek, Mission Impossible and Terminator, and was established in 2010 by David Ellison, son of Oracle founder Larry Ellison.

According to the Wall Street Journal the Chinese firm is keen to get content for its Netflix-like video streaming platform in China. It reports that Tencent has 43 million subscribers for its online video service and spent $4 billion purchasing original content in the first nine months of last year (for more background on China’s booming online video market, and who the key players are, see WiC383).

The Wall Street Journal also suggests Tencent could help Skydance get more of its movies shown in Chinese cinemas, where there is a quota on the number of foreign films that can be shown per year (currently set at 36 films).

Should the pair do co-productions they would be exempt from the quota entirely. Tencent owns a studio called Tencent Pictures and helped co-produce the World of Warcraft movie (see WiC328).


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