Revenue rises but iQiyi facing challenges

Zhu Shenshen
Company admits to having to face up to challenges from short-video service providers such as Douyin and Kuaishou and a lack of high-quality content due to the pandemic.
Zhu Shenshen

Nasdaq-listed iQiyi posted better-than-expected revenue in the first quarter, thanks to paid subscriptions and diversified video content. 

However, the company admitted challenges from short-video service providers such as Douyin and Kuaishou, as well as a lack of high-quality content due to the pandemic.

As a result, iQiyi plans to invest in and grow with the industrialization of video production, with new technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud and virtual reality, CEO Gong Yu said in Shanghai recently.

In the first quarter, iQiyi’s revenue reached 8 billion yuan (US$1.2 billion), a growth of 4 percent. The net loss was 1.3 billion yuan, narrowing 55.2 percent from a year ago. 

iQiyi’s paid user base was 105.3 million by the end of first quarter with membership still the company’s largest revenue stream.

Content production faces several problems, such as long and uncontrollable production schedules, low hit ratios, a lack of evaluation standards and high financial risks, some coming from the pandemic.

iQiyi has increased investment in the industrialization of film and drama production, establishing over 50 studios. It has also launched a Cloud Cinema to directly charge users for premium films, the company said at the iQiyi World Conference in Shanghai.

New iQiyi-produced films and dramas include titles based on Chinese history.

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