Tencent and Alibaba invest in former “Voice of China” producer Canxing

Chinese tech giants Alibaba and Tencent have invested in television show producer Shanghai Canxing Culture & Broadcast Co., in a funding round worth RMB 360 million ($53 million), according to local media.

Tencent’s investment of RMB 160 million was made through its subsidiary, Tibet Qiming Music, while Alibaba’s contribution totaled RMB200 million. The companies hold 0.94% and 1.17% of Canxing’s shares respectively

Canxing initially raised RMB 21 billion in its Round A in December 2017, with the expectation that the company would file for a listing at some point in 2018. The company is the former producer of the popular TV show “Voice of China,” among others. It has created over 20 shows in China, which focus on music and dance. Additionally, the company owns a record label with over 120 artists.

However, Canxing has been embroiled in trademark disputes with the creator of its popular singing show when the company was preparing for the fifth season of “Voice of China.” Later, another television show producer, Zhejiang Talent Television & Film Co. Ltd., bought “The Voice of China” brand along with related IP.

Both Tencent and Alibaba have good reason to invest in Canxing: content. The tech giants will likely incorporate the company’s output into their platforms.

Interestingly, this is not the first time the two rivals have co-invested in individual companies. In early July both firms bought stakes in state-backed media company China Media Capital (CMC). This was followed by talk of the companies’ intentions to invest in advertising firm WPP’s Chinese unit.