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Tencent's China Literature sees 15-fold profit increase; seeks to diversify content

|Mar 20|magazine6 min read

China Literature, China’s main online publisher and e-book platform, is seeking to expand its content offering after announcing its profits increased 15-fold in 2017.

Net profit shot from $5.8mn in 2016 to $85.1mn in 2017. In addition, China Literature’s total revenue saw a 60% increase from $400mn in 2016 to $650mn in 2017, it was reported on Monday.

China Literature, which is owned by Tencent Holdings, offers ebooks and digital material to China’s consumers. It has expresses a desire to become “China’s Marvel” and hopes to be able to market its intellectual property both across China and globally, in order to take on the likes of Disney.

The company was listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange late last year in the biggest ever Hong Kong tech IPO, raising over $1bn.

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CEO Wu Wenhei stated that since the listing the company has expanded its offering of original content and improved user experience, “laying a solid foundation for the long-term growth of our online reading business”. China Literature hopes to expand is offering of adaptations for film and TV from popular literature.

According to iResearch, the market for digital literature in China increased by around 32% last year. The Chinese population is also becoming more willing to pay for a range of quality content online, as was illustrated yesterday by the news that Tencent rival Baidu’s iQiyi video platform intends to issue a $2.4bn New York IPO. iQiyi reportedly claims users spend about 6bn hours on its platform every month and it has around 500mn monthly active users. Like China Literature, it also hopes to expand its range of content.

In addition, Tencent Video has added about 20mn paying subscribers in the past five months, according to the South China Morning Post.