BBCS makes ‘significant breakthrough’ in China with Bilibili pact

The Watch

Chinese streamer Bilibili and BBC Studios (BBCS) have struck a potentially far-reaching pact that will see the two companies partnering more closely on both existing shows and new content.

The multi-year “strategic cooperation agreement” will see BBCS and Bilibili working together to commission new content, while also jointly developing IP from the two companies for the Chinese market.

An animation project is being explored while the production of Chinese stories for the global market is described as a “key element” of the deal.

Factual focus

The two parties will expand their science copros, with BBCS Science Unit producing a newly commissioned show titled Odyssey Into The Future, featuring Chinese author Liu Cixin.

The pact will also see Bilibili become a co-production partner in China for other new BBCS factual shows, including its landmark series The Green Planet and Mating Game.

Bilibili is also gaining greater access to BBCS drama and comedy titles, with the Chinese streamer taking exclusive domestic VOD rights to BBCS’ new scripted fantasy show The Watch, as well as access to Top Gear and Doctor Who.

‘Significant breakthrough’

Jon Penn, EVP of BBCS Asia Pacific (APAC), said: “China is one of the fastest-changing and most dynamic media markets in the world. We’re delighted to have forged this long-term partnership with Bilibili which will see BBC Studios deepen its participation in China.

“This more advanced strategic partnership with Bilibili is a significant breakthrough, as it will help us to further explore the potential of China’s content industry.”

Ding Ke, the recently appointed SVP and GM for Greater China at BBCS, added: “With decades of commitment to China, as well as our roots in generating bold creative content, we know that telling Chinese stories is about realising local values and resonating with the Chinese audience.

“Previous cooperation between BBC Studios and Bilibili laid a solid foundation for this enhanced strategic partnership. As well as taking British stories to China, this deal will also take some of China’s rich cultural stories to the rest of the world.”

Li Ni, vice chairwoman and COO of Bilibili, said: “BBC Studios not only brings valuable production expertise to the table, but also has a strong brand recognition and influence around the world. Looking forward, we are committed to leveraging the strengths of both parties to explore more diverse content together. We will collaborate to create high-quality productions while bringing more Chinese original content to overseas markets.”

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