iFlix, a struggling streaming platform in South-east Asia, has over the years grown a strong subscriber base. However, continued losses and a looming debt crisis have forced the streaming provider to look for a white knight. Internet giant Tencent Holdings has announced that it is acquiring iFlix’s assets, including content, technology and resources, but not its debts.
Despite the downturn in revenues compounded by the pandemic at the start of 2020, iFlix has experienced an increase of viewers by 42%, recording a high monthly user of 21 million; this is an attractive captive base of South-east Asian viewers that has captured Tencent’s attention.
With established presence in 13 countries in Asia, Tencent is able to strategically expand into the local markets such as Malaysia, Indonesia and more. Furthermore, it has a library of hyper-localised content which provides an edge over international players such as Netflix and Apple TV+.
A spokesperson told South China Morning Post (SCMP) that the acquisition is in line with Tencent’s strategy to expand its international streaming platform, WeTV, across South-east Asia.
At this initial stage, Tencent will run iFlix as an independent entity. However, the endgame is to combine iFlix with WeTV to provide South-east Asian viewers with a library of diversified content that includes international and local original production in multiple languages.