Chinese period drama The Story of Yanxi Palace garnered over 20 billion views between July and September, driving third-quarter user growth and revenue for Baidu-owned video streaming platform iQiyi.

The 70-episode show, which was co-produced by iQiyi and Huanyu Film, follows the quest of a Wei Yingluo who enters the court of the Qianlong Emperor to find the truth behind her sister’s death. At the height of its popularity, its scenes monopolized smartphone screens everywhere from supermarkets to subway cars, with viewers enthralled by tales backstabbing concubines embroiled in games of betrayal, deceit, and finally love. The show featured elements including exquisitely detailed and colorful costumes and racy storylines.

The Story of Yanxi Palace was China’s most watched online drama for 39 consecutive days this summer. Viewers streamed it an average of 300 million times a day, generating more than 700 million daily views at its peak.

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

What you get

Full access to all premium content and our full archives

Members'-only newsletters

Preferential access and discounts to all TechNode events

Direct access to the TechNode newsroom

Start your free trial now.

Get instant access to all our premium content, archives, newsletters, and online community.

Monthly Membership

Yearly Membership

Chris Udemans

Christopher Udemans is a Shanghai-based technology reporter. He covers Chinese artificial intelligence, mobility, and cybersecurity. You can contact him at chrisudemans [at] technode [dot] com.