Tencent Buys Iflix to Capitalize on Fast-growing User-base in SE Asia

On Thursday, Tencent, a Chinese multinational conglomerate holding company, said that it had purchased content, technology, and resources of Iflix, a Malaysian video streaming platform, to grow its presence in Southeast Asia.

In a statement, the tech giant said that Iflix’s catalog of local, international, and original content will enable them to expand its reach overseas, WeTV, was launched in Thailand in 2019.

The spokeswoman of Tencent has declined to disclose the size of the deal. On Wednesday, Variety, the U.S. entertainment media outlet, published this news citing that according to the people with knowledge of the agreement, the deal was worth more than tens of millions of dollars. This purchase would make the deal of $1 billion valuations significantly smaller which was Iflix had sought in 2019 for its plans of a public listing in Australia.

The Malaysian startup had successfully raised more than $300 million with its more than 25 million active users in Southeast Asia. However, the company is still facing significant financial difficulties and accumulated losses.

The company, Iflix is yet to answers any questions. The purchase is as part of Tencent’s efforts to capitalize on its fast-growing user base which currently around 650 million in the region. It operates PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, a popular game, and JOOX, music streaming service.

In China, at the end of March, Tencent’s Video streaming platform boasted over 110 million paid subscribers. WeTV will be facing a crowded field in Southeast Asia. Some other competitors in the region include Chinese rival iQIYI and U.S giant Netflix. In June, it was reported that Tencent was in talks to become the biggest shareholder iQIYI.