MUBI will not launch in China this year, following the cancellation of its deal with Huanxi.
The Asian entertainment company announced its agreement with the subscription streaming service at the start of the year. Huanxi said that it would invest $40 million in MUBI for 70 per cent of the joint venture entity, while MUBI’s contribution by way of license of its intellectual property and know-how into MUBI China will be for 30 per cent of the joint venture entity. Huanxi was also set to invest $10 million for 8 per cent of MUBI’s stock.
The resulting partnership would have seen MUBI beat Netflix to a market that has eluded the streaming giant for years.
Yesterday, though, Huanxi told the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that “(Huanxi subsidiary) Graceful and MUBI have agreed to terminate the (January) framework agreement”.
“The company and MUBI are however discussing other possible forms of cooperation,” added the company.
No reasons have been given for the sudden reversal, but MUBI founder Efe Cakarel told Variety: “Huanxi and MUBI have agreed to terminate the existing Framework Agreement, however we are still discussing other possible forms of cooperation for the future and both parties remain committed to a long term partnership.
“The company’s business plans and operations remain the same. We continue to pursue strong acquisitions as we have done in the past year, as well as continuing to develop new markets to grow and focus on forthcoming productions.”
MUBI currently has around 100,000 subscribers worldwide.
MUBI will launch in China this year
Original published: 15th January 2016
MUBI will launch in China this year, the SVOD service has announced.
The streaming site, which is already available in over 200 territories around the world, has had an extremely successful past year, securing the exclusive rights to Paul Thomas Anderson’s Junun in October 2015, as well as signing deals with Sony, Paramount, Miramax, eOne, Icon and StudioCanal. In April 2016, MUBI will partner with New Wave Films to release Miguel Gomes’ Arabian Nights theatrically in the UK and online via the streaming service.
Now, it will go one step further and launch in China – a goal that has long eluded Netflix, despite its launch last week in 130 additional countries.
MUBI’s entry into China comes with the backing of prominent Asian entertainment company Huanxi, which has invested $50 million in the service. Huanxi will invest $40 million in MUBI China for 70 per cent of the joint venture entity, while MUBI’s contribution by way of license of its intellectual property and know-how into MUBI China will be for 30 per cent of the joint venture entity.
Furthermore, as part of the agreement, Huanxi will make a strategic investment in MUBI of $10 million for 8 per cent of MUBI’s stock, valuing the fast growing company at $125 million.
Huanxi was founded by Chinese movie investor Dong Ping, whose past credits include Let the Bullets Fly, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Journey To The West. Mr. Dong was formerly the Founder and Chairman of the powerhouse production company ChinaVision Media Group Limited (now known as Alibaba Pictures Group Limited).
When launched in China, the popular SVOD model is set to boast the same consumer value proposition as it does internationally: the site adds one new film a day, with each title available for 30 days, creating a constant carousel of world cinema, cult hits and indie classics.
“We are thrilled to launch MUBI in China this year,” says Efe Cakarel, Founder and CEO of MUBI. “The foundation of MUBI has always been to ensure film fans have access to the best films around the globe, from London to Beijing, wherever and whenever they want. Through our partnership with Huanxi, we will be able to do just that; introduce a curated film offering in the country with the largest population in the world – and soon the largest film market in the world.”
Ping adds: “As China’s movie market grows rapidly, the online video and movie sector is also expanding quickly. As a result, there is a growing demand by Chinese audiences for quality content online. Our Joint Venture with MUBI would allow us to combine our deep expertise in creating, acquiring original, event-driven content in China with MUBI’s powerful, user-friendly platform.”