Wanda Cinema Line announced on Wednesday that it is buying another great asset for US$280 million, Mtime.com, the biggest Chinese movie website that provides film news, ticketing, merchandise, an online community and film ratings.
Zeng Maojun (L), president of Wanda Cinema Line, shakes hands with Hou Kaiwen, the founder and CEO of Mtime.com. Wanda has bought out Mtime for US$280 million on July 27, 2016. [Photo provided to China.org.cn]
Wanda was a 20 percent shareholder of the movie website last year but it has now bought the website and plans to build it into an international platform to provide film marketing and media services. Mtime.com's brand and original management will remain and the website will operate independently. Hou Kaiwen will remain as the CEO of Mtime.com.
Mtime.com, a platform for movie fans, was trying to survive by transforming itself from an information provider to a merchandise seller, leading the currently immature film merchandise market that China film industry has been trying to nurture. Mtime.com received licenses to sell official merchandise products from major Hollywood studios such as Disney, Sony, Warner Bros, Paramount, Universal and 20th Century Fox before the Wanda acquisition.
Wanda wants Mtime to be the portal of its online strategy and to expand its online ticketing market share. Wanda is also exploring the merchandise market as it has already sold merchandise products for "Warcraft," a film produced by Wanda-owned Legendary Pictures, for more than 100 million yuan in China thus far.