iQiyi To Hire Over 200 Staff For Its New Singapore Office By 2025

Chinese streaming service iQiyi on Tuesday (December 15th) unveiled its Singapore office at Robinson Road, which will serve as its regional headquarters.

Kuek Yu Chuang, vice president of iQiyi for its international business, said the company currently has 25 employees and plans to hire more than 200 people in Singapore over the next five years.

He added that iQiyi “will extend (in) a whole range of functions here”. Without revealing specific details, he hinted that “the content will be a big part of it.”

iQiyi plans to do more shows in Singapore and distribute them worldwide by working with local production houses.

His first collaboration in Singapore is with local production company GHY Culture and Media for the filming of The Ferryman: Legends of Nanyang, which is due out in 2021.

The drama series stars Lawrence Wong from the popular historical drama Story of Yanxi Palace, who will star alongside local stars Qi Yu Wu, Tay Ping Hui and Xiang Yun.

The collaboration follows iQiyi’s recently signed three-year memorandum of understanding with the Singapore Tourism Board to market Singapore as a destination in China and other key markets.

In addition, iQiyi said it will also step up its sales, marketing and business development to better engage the global audience.

iQiyi is the second in the Chinese video streaming market

Image credit: Reuters

Founded in 2010, iQiyi is the second largest player in the Chinese video streaming market with 104.8 million subscribers at the end of September.

Despite ranking second in the market, iQiyi has yet to break even in the past 10 years. In fact, its latest quarterly results showed declines in revenue and subscribers, which also pushed its shares down.

iQiyi began its expansion into Southeast Asia and beyond in June of last year, when its international app made content available for languages ​​such as Thai, Bahasa Indonesian, and Vietnamese.

iQiyi has several offices around the world, including Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Manila, Dubai and Toronto.

“We chose Singapore to anchor our international operations because Singapore’s connectivity and reputation as a premier talent center make it the ideal gateway to accelerate our global operations,” said Mr. Kuek.

Besides iQiyi, many other Chinese giants are also establishing offices in Singapore despite the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes Chinese giant Tencent and TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance.

Separately, it is reported that Alibaba and Tencent are in talks with Baidu to acquire majority stake in iQiyi. According to sources, Bytedance is also exploring the same case.

Talks have apparently stalled because Baidu reportedly demanded a valuation of around US $ 20 billion, but Tencent estimates the company is only worth around half of that.

In China, Tencent video is ranked first in the video streaming market with a penetration rate of 45% at the end of 2019, according to the research firm BlueCatData.

iQiyi comes in second with 43% and Alibaba’s Youku is in third with 27%.

Featured Image Credit: China Film Insider

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Jothi Venkat

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