China’s Huayi Brothers Buys Controlling Stake in Online Ticketing Site

1:22 AM PST 07/02/2014 by Clifford Coonan
Wang Zhonglei, CEO of Huayi Brothers

Online booking currently accounts for around $190 million per year, or five percent, of the total box office in China.

Chinese film company Huayi Brothers has acquired a 51 percent stake in Maizuo.com, a Chinese movie information and tickets provider, for $43 million.

“Purchasing Maizuo is one step toward transforming our Internet business,” Huayi Brothers’ vice president, Hu Ming, told the Beijing Morning Post. “In the future, we will have close interaction on this platform with Maizuo users and film audiences, including crowdfunding, presale of the film tickets and fans social networking.”

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Online booking accounts for around $190 million, or five percent, of the total box office right now, but it is expected to increase to 10 percent this year and 15 percent next year, as the number of cinemas offering online seat purchases increases to around 60 percent in 2015.

Huayi's purchase promises to make the online ticket booking market in China more competitive. The market leader is Gewara.com, which had income last year of $128.8 million.

Maizuo.com started business in 2010 and functions on PCs, on cellphones and tablets. Its service covers nearly 700 movie theaters in more than 80 cities in China.

 

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