By Pei Li and Tony Munroe
Mar 31 (Reuters) – Chinese group Tencent’s e-book subsidiary China Literature wants to increase its business in North America to take advantage of growing demand for content outside its home market, a senior executive told Reuters.
The company’s Webnovel platform, which hosts its content in languages other than Chinese, has already recruited 50,000 writers in North America, and the company plans to double that number by the end of the year.
“As we have done in China, we are seeing users who like our content become writers on our platform,” Sandra Chen, director of international business for China Literature, told Reuters in an interview.
Chen said China Literature is targeting North America for its “infrastructure, its demand for good content and the willingness of users to pay for it.”
Tencent, China’s largest video game and social media company, put China Literature and two other content companies, New Classic Media and Tencent Pictures, under one management last year as part of an integrated film and television production strategy. .
Analysts say Tencent wants to build a Chinese Disney by transferring its vast holdings of animation, online literature and video game intellectual property to the big screen.
Webnovel has more than 200,000 original titles in English and 1,000 works translated from Chinese. This week it has launched a writing contest that will last throughout the year to encourage the creation of original works in English.
China Literature is open to partnering with foreign platforms like Netflix, Chen added.
(Information from Pei Li and Tony Munroe; edited by Sam Holmes; translated by Darío Fernández in the Gdansk newsroom)