Sohu Tech claimed they received an internal e-mail from Tencent (in Chinese) that read,
- The Qidian team led by Wu Wenhui has reached investment agreement with Tencent and will provide content for the men-targeted original literature channel (on Tencent’s QQ.com).
- Either Tencent original literature division or Huaxia (Huaxiashuwang, an online literature site owned by Tencent) should stop signing contracts for the channel, including those for licensing or revenue sharing, from today.
The Qidian team refers to the those led by Qidian founder Wu Wenhui that left Shanda’s Cloudary last month. It was rumored that the team was soon approached by a few willing investors including Baidu and Tencent.
Cloudary, former parent company of the Qidian team, became the industry leader in recent years and has long planned to go IPO in the U.S.. Now, not only hasn’t the IPO plan carried out, but also strong rivals emerged.
Duoku, a mobile literature under Baidu, was released at the end of last month. All other major Internet companies in China have their own online original literature platforms.
Tencent has also been investing heavily on online reading in the past couple years. Apart from having grass-root writers to contribute content — like most others do, it also set up a platform, called Dajia, for professional writers to publish the latest creations.
It is said that it may not be hard for Qidian team to re-build a Qidian as one of the most important success factors is editor’s taste. Even better with the deal with Tencent that the latter would help them reach its hundreds of millions of users.
Update: The founding team has confirmed of it and disclosed a new brand, called Chuangshi, would be established and be focused on mobile. (in Chinese)