Tencent acquires iflix to extend WeTV's presence in Southeast Asia
Writer: Florey DM
Malaysia's iflix has been acquired by China's Tencent.
25 Jun – Following news of iflix's financial troubles in recent months, the latest update reveals that China's media conglomerate Tencent has acquired the Malaysia-based video on-demand service.
"We confirmed that Tencent has purchased iflix's content, technology and resources," Tencent stated, as per Variety.
"This is in line with our strategy to expand our international streaming platform, WeTV, across Southeast Asia and provide users with international, local and original high-quality content in a wide range of genres and languages."
Content partners have been informed regarding it and the service is expected to continue under the iflix branding for the next 6 to 12 months. As revealed in the statement, the purchase is set to expand WeTV's presence in the Southeast Asian region.
"The purchase comprises a strong local network across emerging markets with a wide and compelling selection of video content such as TV shows, movies and local originals, to stream or download, on any Internet-connected device.
"Through the purchase, WeTV will further extend our presence in the video streaming industry across Southeast Asia, to reach a broader audience base within the region and to better serve our users with better viewing experience," it was stated.
No deal terms were revealed sources told Variety that it involves "several tens of millions of dollars."
iflix had to lay off an undisclosed number of staff last April but it is reported that the current remaining staff, including CEO Marc Barnett, will be retained.
iflix was founded in 2014 as a VOD service for international content in Southeast Asia. But it begun facing financial troubles due to strict competition from other services like Netflix and Viu. Even the sudden closure of its immediate rival HOOQ last March did not help to improve its financial situation.
To date, iflix is available in 13 Asian territories, which are Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Nepal, Thailand, Brunei, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Myanmar, Vietnam, the Maldives and Cambodia.
Cinema Online, 25 June 2020