Biz / Tech

Sony invests US$400 million in video site Bilibili

Ding Yining
Shanghai-headquartered Bilibili will offer Sony a 5-percent stake as the two come together on digital entertainment and media collaboration.
Ding Yining

Shanghai-headquartered video and gaming company Bilibili announced on Thursday that it will receive a US$400-million equity investment from Sony Corp America in exchange for a 4.98-percent stake to strengthen digital entertainment and media collaboration.

The two parties also entered into a collaboration agreement to pursue opportunities within the Chinese entertainment market, including animation and mobile games.

Sony said in a statement that it sees China as a key strategic region for its entertainment business, and this investment in Bilibili is in line with Sony's strategy.  

“The strategic investment and business cooperation further align our goals to bring best-in-class content offerings and services to our users as we increase our domestic stronghold in animation and mobile games, and we look forward to joining efforts on a broader scale to fulfill the tremendous and growing entertainment needs in China,” Chairman and CEO of Bilibili Chen Rui said in a statement. 

Starting as an animation and user-uploading video site, NASDAQ-listed Bilibili is adding more professionally generated content and longer format films and documentaries, as well as adding a livestreaming function.

Its fourth-quarter revenue surged 74 percent from a year earlier to 2 billion yuan (US$280 million) thanks to increased monetization and diversified revenue streams.

Average monthly paying users doubled from that of 2018 to 8.8 million as it ramped up investment in animation, comics and gaming titles.

Backed by both tech giants Alibaba and Tencent, its leisure gaming and eSports have also been picking up steadily, including a three-year deal for domestic broadcasting rights to League of Legends. 

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