Last night, anime streaming site Bilibili announced a strategic partnership with internet behemoth Tencent. Tencent had previously revealed a $317.6 million investment in Bilibili, which brought its company stake up to 12%, earlier this month. However, the recent press release reveals new details about a deeper cooperation.
First, there will be more partnership on “sharing and operating” existing anime and games on Bilibili. B-stop (B站), as it’s affectionately called by fans, will exchange and purchase “existing anime copyright” with its counterpart, which operates a popular streaming site of its own. In addition, Bilibili will host more Tencent games on its platform.
Furthermore, the two will work together to “jointly procure, produce and invest in anime projects,” creating new content targeted at a youthful audience. Both Tencent and Bilibili will also look for more investment opportunities in the animation-comics-games industry.
Bilibili chairman and CEO Chen Rui commented, “The strategic cooperation with Tencent further aligns us with China’s leading internet company, and supports our strategy to bring high quality content and services to our growing community.”
“We can now leverage Tencent’s innovative research and development capabilities and premium content, particularly in licensing, co-producing and investment in anime, as well as game publishing.”
Tencent president Martin Lau had this to add: “We greatly value Bilibili’s Gen Z demographic with entertainment needs that welcome a steady stream of new content. Such an active user base along with Bilibili’s ecosystem is ideally suited for nurturing the type of creative and transformative internet games and products Tencent is known for bringing users around the globe.”
The partnership is a meeting of like-minded corporations. While Tencent offers a vast array of services, youth appeal and gaming have always been priorities. The latter has taken a blow with recent government efforts to stop young people from staring at screens for too long. The Bilibili partnership may help address some of Tencent’s troubles, although it’ll likely only result in more screen-time for Gen Z.