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July 20, 2020 |

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Chinese streamer iQiyi seeks Southeast Asia expansion with new hires

L-R: Sherwin Dela Cruz, Dinesh Ratnam and Steven Zhang

Chinese streamer iQiyi is looking to expand its presence in Southeast Asia with the appointment of three new country managers.

Two of the new appointments come from foundering streaming rival Iflix, which was recently acquired by Tencent Video.

Sherwin Dela Cruz has been hired as country manager for the Philippines. He joins iQiyi from the same role at Iflix Philippines, where, as its co-founder and country manager, he built the platform’s Filipino business from the ground up.

Dinesh Ratnam, who was also previously with Iflix, has been appointed to oversee iQiyi’s Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei markets. Ratnam similarly served as Iflix’s Malaysia country manager.

Meanwhile, Steven Zhang joins as iQiyi’s country manager in Indonesia, the same position he held at live streaming platform Joyy.

All three will responsible for the localisation and development of iQiyi’s business in their respective markets. Yang Xianghua, president of membership and overseas business group at iQiyi, said that the three executives will help boost the Company’s presence in Southeast Asia.

“How to provide cultural products favoured by local audiences is an obstacle we need to tackle while also understanding and adapting to the local market.

“These great additions to our team will strengthen our innovation and help us connect with more local partners with their wealth of market development expertise in the region, accelerating our expansion into Southeast Asia as part of our goal to deliver our high-quality and diversified video content to a wider international audience.”

Recent reports suggest that iQiyi might be preparing to merge with WeTV operator Tencent, which just took control of iFlix. A union between the two companies would create the world’s biggest streaming service.

Both streamers have been ramping up spending on their content offerings in recent years, with iQiyi’s including 2015 hit The Lost Tomb and more recent shows The Thunder and Golden Eyes. Tencent’s output, meanwhile, includes The Untamed and acquired programming such as HBO’s Game Of Thrones.

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