HONG KONG — HBO has signed a deal with Chinese online giant Tencent to show its movies and TV series in China.
Deal terms were not disclosed, but the two said that Tencent Video will be the exclusive online distributor and that the deal will take effect “in the very near future.”
That should mean that Tencent will air series“Game of Thrones” and “True Detective” Tencent said that each show will need to be approved by Chinese regulators before becoming available on the platform.
“This partnership enables us to distribute some of the most ground-breaking programming in the world through our robust technology platform, to the benefit of Chinese Internet users,” said Martin Lau, President of Tencent Holdings
Online video has become a major battleground in China as the main platforms race to acquire top content, expand the usability of their platforms, and become marketing and promotional tools alongside the theatrical business.
And they have attracted new finance and technology from China’s Internet market leaders. Earlier this year e-commerce giant Alibaba bought a major stake in Youku Tudou. This month smart phone maker Xiaomi has said it will buy stakes in both Youku Tudou and its rival iQIYI, which is controlled by China’s top Internet search firm Baidu.
The once free-wheeling sector has also seen regulatory creep. Regulators have removed U.S. shows including “The Big Bang Theory,” and “The Good Wife,” and stepped up pressure on the platforms to remove pornography and other dubious content.