Expansion into Chinese Market 1 - Dinosaur Ruling Chinese Contents, Tencent and Webcomics

최선아 | 2019-11-18 14:00

The game lovers are likely to hear about Tencent once. Tencent has the biggest and hugest influence in Chinese game publishers. Some people tell us that how to bring the games to a success in China is that they have to be exported through Tencent. Tencent also has an influence in Chinese, Korean and American game markets, holds many stocks of large game companies such as Netmarble and NCSOFT, and takes over Riot Games in U.S. and a mobile game company Supercell in Finland.


Figure 2. Tencent and YG Entertainment

In this way, you simply regard Tencent as a game company, but it reaches out to a variety of contents businesses by investing in YG Entertainment. From 2012 when Korean webcomics were rapidly growing, Tencent has also progressed the comic contents business by importing Korean comics as Tencent Animation & Comics ( One of reasons why it aims the webcomic markets is that the acquisition of webcomic IP makes a profit through production of the second contents such dramas and games.

Figure 3. 'They Say I Was Born a King's Daughter' that ranks on the top in the number of Korean webcomics in Tencent Animation & Comics exceeds 800 million views.

Tencent Animation & Comics is Chinese biggest platform and retains the cartoonists and comics infrastructure to the extent that the number of monthly users exceeds 90 million, 300 comics exceed 100 million views and that 30 comics exceed a billion views. When we check the comics serialized on website in reality, Naruto, One Piece and Bleach ranking on the top of popular comics exceed 13 billion, 10 billion and 6 billion views, respectively. 'They Say I Was Born a King's Daughter' that was exported last year exceeded 100 million views in 40 days and exceeds 800 million views now. Considering that the monthly user visits of KakaoPage that serves 'They Say I Was Born a King's Daughter' are millions, these views are the unexpected figures.

Tencent fulfills a variety of contents businesses such as game publishing, that's why there is hope that games through IP of webcomics serialized on Tencent seem to be published to Tencent more easily than other games. 

Tencent was in charge of many businesses related to expanding Korean webcomic companies into Chinese webcomic market in this year. Kakao directly concluded an agreement with Tencent in relation to twenty webcomics (ten ones including 'What's Wrong with Secretary Kim?' and 'Devil Sword King' on KakaoPage plus ten ones including 'I Hate Love' and 'Shaman Girl' on Daum) in January of this year. Lezhin Comics ranking on the top of paid webcomics also concluded an agreement with Tencent in relation to six webcomics including 'Our Relationship Is...' and 'My Secret Brother' in May.

Figure 4. 'My Secret Brother' from Lezhin Comics reaching 5.66 million views

Even though Korean webcomics get the high views in China, they shall not be expanded into there without consideration. The published comics are still sold in Chinese comic market. If Chinese people read comics in the Internet, they read Japanese electronic comics or a lot of free copied comics. Many Korean webcomics are pirated to the extent that by Homin Joo is illegally changed into Dance with God and that the pirated version of his webcomic is uploaded on the website in China. But, many Chinese contents companies such as Tencent don't take a powerful and direct action against such piracy. 

Then, how can Korean webcomic companies expand into Chinese market?

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