Asia Minute: Chinese Technology Giant Expands Hollywood Presence

Jan 29, 2018

Lobby of Tencent HQ. Shenzhen, China
Credit Chris Yunker / Flickr

A leading Chinese technology company is making a new investment in Hollywood. The deal involves a production company behind movies in the franchises of Mission Impossible, Star Trek and The Terminator. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Tencent is a Chinese technology powerhouse—a holding company. It owns the Chinese language mobile app “WeChat” which by itself claims nearly a billion users. Tencent is also the largest electronic gaming company in the world – active in virtual reality and artificial intelligence.

As an internet company, it makes the top four on the planet—trailing only Facebook, Alphabet (the parent company of Google), and Amazon.

Credit Tencent / Wikimedia Commons

The Hollywood Reporter quotes a source familiar with this latest deal as saying the Chinese company has now acquired nearly 10 percent of Skydance Media – a production company owned by David Ellison, son of Oracle co-founder and Lāna‘i’ investor Larry Ellison.

Skydance has produced movies in the Star Trek and Mission Impossible series. As well as television programs such as Netflix’s “Grace and Frankie.”

The arrangement gives Tencent the ability to co-finance future Skydance projects, and to market and distribute them in China.

Last year, China’s box office sales totaled 8.6 billion dollars. Second only to the U.S. market of a little over 11 billion dollars.

The agreement also expands Tencent’s investment presence in California where it already has stakes in companies from Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment to Tesla…and the parent company of Snapchat.