China's Tencent Sets Up Production, Film Investment Banner Penguin Pictures

Monster Hunt Still 2 - H 2015
Courtesy of Edko Films

The unit will produce the online giant's own online dramas and make minority investments in movies.

Chinese online giant Tencent has established production banner Penguin Pictures (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. to "engage in the self-production of primarily online dramas, minority investments in movies, as well as to develop our own talent pool of artists."

Tencent has recently focused on producing some content and making movie investments.

Since last year, it has released more than 10 self-produced dramas. Among its movie investments has been record-setting 3D adventure Monster Hunt, the biggest Chinese film ever.

Among the online dramas planned are The Adventures of Three Tomb Raiders, Tencent without providing full details.

The launch of the new unit comes as other Chinese tech giants have created or acquired film units, such as Alibaba's Alibaba Pictures.

Tencent is one of the three Chinese tech giants known as "BAT," which also includes search engine powerhouse Baidu and e-commerce firm Alibaba. All of them have been expanding into the entertainment business.

The Hollywood Reporter earlier this year entered into a multiyear content deal with Tencent. The partnership sees THR news, features and videos syndicated across Tencent's platforms.

Tencent said the banner launch will benefit from its video platform's consumer insights and ability to provide social media exposure. It also said it would offer a one-stop user experience, saying people will be able to watch the trailer of a movie Tencent invested in, buy tickets online and watch movies online after they come to the Tencent platform.