Chinese tech giant Tencent has launched a major reshuffle in its entertainment and content production business, setting “social responsibilities” as the primary goal for film production arm Tencent Pictures.

Why it matters: Tencent is the latest among China’s tech giants to make changes to their business to stay safe amid wider regulatory crackdowns.

  • Tencent, along with Alibaba and Meituan, have taken the brunt of China’s regulatory wrath over the past year.
  • Chinese tech companies are scrambling to show their willingness to comply with the country’s broad goal of lessening inequality (reaching “common prosperity”) to stay on the safe side of an intense period of regulatory changes

READ MORE: Insights | Why Chinese tech giants are becoming very generous

Details: Tencent has merged Tencent Pictures, a unit under the company’s Platform & Content Group, with its Corporate Development Group, Chinese media outlet Jiemian reported on Thursday. Cheng Wu, vice president of Tencent Group and CEO of e-publisher China Literature, will oversee the business.

  • After the adjustment, Tencent Pictures will focus on producing content that promotes Chinese core values to “take more social responsibility,” according to the report.
  • Tencent Pictures affiliates such as television and film production company New Classics Media and China Literature’s film production unit will lead the development of the group’s existing commercial IPs.
  • An anonymous source told Jiemian that commercialization will no longer be the top priority for Tencent Pictures, which has a new commitment to producing content promoting mainstream values, such as A Lifelong Journey, a TV series now airing on state broadcaster CCTV.
  • Tencent could not be reached when contacted by TechNode on Friday.

Context: In 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on local artists to present socialist core values in their works.

  • In January, Tencent replaced the dystopian ending of the cult classic movie “Fight Club” with a happy ending and cut all nude scenes in a version streamed on Tencent Video. The company later restored the ending after a global backlash.

Emma Lee

Emma Lee (Li Xin) was TechNode's e-commerce and new retail reporter until June 2022, when she moved to Sixth Tone to cover technology and consumption. Get in touch with her via lixin@sixthtone.com or Twitter.