On Thursday, video-streaming platform iQiyi released fourth quarter and full year results for 2018, posting a loss of RMB 9.1 billion ($1.3 billion) in 2018, ahead of analyst expectations, with subscriber revenue driving growth. Memberships reached 87.4 million, representing 72% growth year-on-year and revenue surged as a result, rising 52% this year to RMB 25 billion ($3.6 billion) compared with a year ago.

“Membership business continued to be the main engine driving our growth, while we further broadened and diversified other revenue streams,” said CFO Wang Xiaodong. He added, “2018 was also a transition year for us, as we devoted more resources towards producing original content which added pressure to our margins.”

Original content helps lure paying subscribers, said CEO Yu Gong, amid a general shift in internet user behavior toward accepting paid content.

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Bailey Hu

Bailey Hu is based in China’s hardware capital, Shenzhen. Her interests include local maker culture, grassroots innovation and how tech shapes society, as well as vice versa.