China web giant Tencent buys into film maker
Chinese Internet giant Tencent has bought a 4.6 percent stake in mainland film and TV producer Huayi Brothers Media to look at possible ways to combine film and new media, the firms said Tuesday.
Tencent bought 27.8 million shares in Shenzhen-listed Huayi for around 450 million yuan ($69.2 million), or 16 yuan each, according to a statement filed with the Shenzhen Stock Exchange by Huayi.
"The strategic investment in Huayi is the first step of cooperation between two parties," Tencent president Martin Lau said in a separate statement, without elaborating on how they planned to integrate the two media.
Tencent, based in the southern Chinese export hub of Shenzhen, operates various online services, including instant messaging service QQ, web portal QQ.com, games portal QQ Game, search engine soso.com and a mobile portal.
The firm, which said it has 647 million registered accounts, announced a plan in January to launch a five billion-yuan fund to invest in online gaming, e-commerce and new media companies.
China's fast-growing film industry took a record 10.2 billion yuan at the box office in 2010, according to the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, the country's movie regulator.
(c) 2011 AFP