Ten­cent film unit as­pires to make own block­busters

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By BLOOMBERG

Eber­hard said Con­cur, which is part of SAP, the soft­ware multi­na­tional, will in­crease in­vest­ment in the China mar­ket, which will be the fastest-grow­ing one for the com­pany over the next five years. “Many en­ter­prises, be it those that are al­ready global or the ones that are go­ing to go global, are look­ing at us to help them ex­pand glob­ally.”

Con­cur has more than 34,000 clients, rep­re­sent­ing more than 40 mil­lion users in over 150 coun­tries. Over 60 per­cent of For­tune 500 com­pa­nies are its cus­tomers. This has given the 23-year-old com­pany a dominant po­si­tion in the mar­ket.

The com­pany will also de­liver cus­tom­ized ex­pense man­age­ment ser­vices for Chi­nese com­pa­nies, en­sur­ing com­pli­ance with China’s fi­nan­cial man­age­ment poli­cies, in­clud­ing val­ueadded tax re­form re­quire­ments and other reg­u­la­tions.

More­over, the wide adop­tion of new tech­nolo­gies, in­clud­ing cloud com­put­ing, big data and mo­bile tech­nol­ogy, is driv­ing Chi­nese com­pa­nies to dig­i­tize their busi­nesses as they grow or­gan­i­cally and through ac­qui­si­tions.

Con­cur is now mak­ing ef­forts to en­able Chi­nese com­pa­nies to dig­i­tize sig­nif­i­cant fi­nan­cial pro­cesses. It will con­tinue to bring more in­no­va­tive tech­nolo­gies in cloud com­put­ing, big data and mo­bile tech­nol­ogy into cor­po­rate fi­nan­cial man­age­ment. This is ex­pected to ac­cel­er­ate fi­nanc­ing trans­for­ma­tion.

The com­pany has also an­nounced a strate­gic part­ner­ship with China DataCom Cor­po­ra­tion Lim­ited, an im­por­tant cloud ser­vice provider in China. China DataCom is a joint ven­ture by SAP and China Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Ser­vices Cor­po­ra­tion Lim­ited.

Ten­cent Pic­tures, the film unit of China’s big­gest in­ter­net com­pany, is look­ing for ac­qui­si­tions that can ac­cel­er­ate plans to make its own block­busters in­stead of just writ­ing checks for them.

The po­ten­tial tar­gets could be in Hol­ly­wood and in­clude com­pa­nies on both the cre­ative and pro­duc­tion sides of moviemak­ing, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Edward Cheng said in an in­ter­view. He wouldn’t elab­o­rate ex­cept to say Ten­cent Pic­tures con­sid­ers whether a tar­get com­ple­ments its own abil­i­ties and re­sources.

“In­vest­ment is one of many ways to drive our busi­ness,” Cheng, 42, said. “We ex­pe­dite our busi­ness de­vel­op­ment via suitable merg­ers and ac­qui­si­tions. If it helps our growth at the right time, we are very open in that regard.”

The com­pany is clash­ing with fel­low ti­tans Alibaba Pic­tures Group Ltd and Dalian Wanda Group Co, both of which are spend­ing big to gain an even larger share of China’s pro­jected $10.4 bil­lion in box-of­fice re­ceipts.

Alibaba Pic­tures, part of the on­line em­po­rium that made Jack Ma the rich­est per­son in China, in­vested in Mis­sion: Im­pos­si­ble — Rogue Na­tion and ac­quired a stake in Steven Spiel­berg’s pro­duc­tion com­pany, Am­blin Part­ners.

Dalian Wanda, run by bil­lion­aire Wang Jian­lin, paid $3.5 bil­lion for Le­gendary En­ter­tain­ment and $1 bil­lion for Dick Clark Pro­duc­tions Inc this year alone. It’s re­leas­ing Great Wall, a big-bud­get ac­tion fan­tasy star­ring Matt Da­mon, in China this month.

“In the fu­ture, we will work with Hol­ly­wood, which has pro­fes­sional ex­per­tise, and bet­ter ex­plore the global mar­ket,” Cheng said. “We will also ac­tively look for op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

Po­ten­tial tar­gets for Ten­cent Pic­tures could range from a Hol­ly­wood stu­dio to a com­puter-an­i­ma­tion com­pany, said Billy Le­ung, a Hong Kong­based an­a­lyst at Haitong In­ter­na­tional Se­cu­ri­ties Co.

“All these Chi­nese main­land play­ers, in­clud­ing Alibaba and Ten­cent, are try­ing to ramp up their self-pro­duc­tion con­tent,” Le­ung said. “It’s just a com­pe­ti­tion of who spends more.”

The Hol­ly­wood buy­ing spree comes at a tense time in US-China re­la­tions, with pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump crit­i­ciz­ing China’s cur­rency and trade poli­cies, and some US law­mak­ers call­ing for in­creased scru­tiny of Chi­nese takeovers of US com­pa­nies.

Shen­zhen-based Ten­cent Hold­ings Ltd, whose on­line games and WeChat mes­sag­ing ser­vice fu­eled its growth into Asia’s big­gest tech­nol­ogy com­pany, has been in­volved in $20.8 bil­lion of ac­qui­si­tions and in­vest­ments an­nounced this year, ac­cord­ing to data com­piled by Bloomberg.

Sub­sidiary Ten­cent Pic­tures is best known for in­vest­ing in this year’s War­craft, one of the most-pop­u­lar movies in China, and the up­com­ing Kong: Skull Is­land. It re­cently an­nounced 21 of its own projects as part of a $295 mil­lion spree that in­cludes adapt­ing Chi­nese-cen­tric con­tent for movie and TV screens around the world.

“We will pro­vide more of our in­put when we work with Hol­ly­wood part­ners,” Cheng said. “There are many el­e­ments of Chi­nese cul­ture that can be de­vel­oped into films for the whole world and not just a Chi­nese au­di­ence.”

the value of China’s busi­ness travel mar­ket in 2015 In the fu­ture, we will work with Hol­ly­wood, which has pro­fes­sional ex­per­tise, and bet­ter ex­plore the global mar­ket.” Edward Cheng, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Ten­cent Pic­tures the amount of ac­qui­si­tions and in­vest­ments Ten­cent Hold­ings Ltd has been in­volved in this year

CHINA NEWS SER­VICE

A group of cos­play­ers pose at the en­trance of a movie the­ater in Nan­jing, Jiangsu prov­ince.

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