BEIJING, Jan. 5, 2018 — China's largest online video and entertainment service provider iQIYI announces the premiere of Chosen on January 7, a big-budget online project co-produced with Sony Pictures Television.
The co-production, a three-part online drama series will debut on iQIYI's platforms in Chinese mainland and Taiwan on January 7, and will be available worldwide on Netflix later this year, accessible by viewers in more than 190 countries and territories, iQIYI said at a press conference in Beijing today.
The global distribution of Chosen marks another milestone in iQIYI's recent efforts to introduce its premium content to global audience. The company has reached deals with its international partners including Netflix to distribute several of its popular productions like online series Tiensin Mystic and Burning Ice.
Introducing Chosen, an adaption from American drama under the same title, to reporters and guests in Beijing, Yang Xianghua, iQIYI's senior vice president, said that all three parts of Chosen will be made available to viewers at the same time both on iQIYI and later on Netflix, in a break from industry norms in online films releases.
“This is a clear demonstration of confidence by iQIYI and its partners in the show's quality and their strength in promoting original online films overseas,” Yang said. “We hope our new business model and innovation in distribution will lead to more cooperation with other global partners in the future and enable more premium content to be seen worldwide,” he said.
Also attending the event were Dai Huang, Chief Representative and Vice President of distribution and production from Sony Pictures Television. She is also a board member of Huaso Film & TV Digital Production Co., Ltd, Sony Pictures' joint venture in China and Dou Lili, general manager of Online Film Development Center at iQIYI as well as the lead actors featured in the show including Taiwan-born Lan Cheng-lung and Deng Jiajia.
“The future of online videos, the novelty of content and whether it can resonate with audiences are all interconnected. We constantly strive to explore and broaden new distribution models and new content in order to bring larger quantity and higher quality products to audiences; Chosen is a prime example of this,” said Dai.
The co-production, a ground-breaking cooperation between iQIYI and Sony Pictures Television, is the first Chinese online three-part drama adapted from an American drama.
Based on the original drama under the same title, iQIYI and Sony Pictures Television have strived to improve the quality of the adaption by infusing it with more dramatic conflicts and fine-tuning quality of lead characters in the show in order to attract a global viewership.
“iQIYI uses Chosen as an exploration to sharpen its strength in online film production,” said Dou Lili. “We hope that a combination of original rights from American dramas, Chinese way of presentation and observation of highest industry standard would help promote more of our productions globally.”
iQIYI conceptualized the internet film format in China in 2014 and remains a leading player in this booming market. Its commitment has paid off as it has sold several of its popular internet films to several countries in North America, Vietnam and South Korea. Chosen is another bold move by iQIYI to drive up growth in the global market by taking advantage of the production knowhow and quality control it has learnt from the Hollywood and its own experience in the Chinese way of presentation.
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