What happened: China’s second-largest gaming company NetEase has agreed to sell its comics business to anime-streaming site Bilibili, a rival of the company. Bilibili says its acquisition includes NetEase Comics’ mobile app, website, and copyrights for a large number of stories on the platform. The two parties will work together to create original comics in the future.
Why it’s important: The move marks a change of track for NetEase, which has sought to expand beyond its core gaming business to the related animation and comics sector. The company reached a partnership with Marvel in May to help introduce the first batch of Chinese superheroes. Bilibili raised $483 million from a U.S. initial public offering in March. Collectively known as ACG fans, the users of anime, comics, and gaming services form a vibrant community in China’s cyberspace. iResearch estimated that the community includes as many as 219 million people.