Astro Malaysia, Malaysia’s leading pay-TV operator, has struck a strategic agreement with Chinese streaming platform iQIYI.

Astro obtains the exclusive rights to deliver iQIYI content on TV, on-demand and via OTT in Malaysia. It will launch the first iQIYI-branded channel comprising iQIYI’s extensive slate of original content from drama to variety shows and movies. Astro will also take the lead in customer acquisition, marketing and media sales, the companies said.

iQIYI’s slate of original dramas and variety shows, includes “Story of Yanxi Palace,” “The Golden Eyes,” “The Legend of White Snake,” “Tang Dynasty Tour,” “The Rap of China,” “Hot-Blood Dance Crew,” and “Qing Chun You Ni.” The deal will also cover new content such as “The Rap of China 2019,” “Sword Dynasty,” “The Files of Teenagers in the Concession.”

“We are excited about the incredible opportunity that iQIYI presents in technology leadership and content innovation. This partnership enables us both to leverage on the strength of our brands and skillsets to extend our reach in the content world which is increasingly personal and digital,” said Henry Tan, CEO of Astro.

Having converted many Chinese viewers from free access to paid subscriptions, China’s streaming giants are increasingly looking to overseas markets for growth. In April, NASDAQ-listed iQIYI told Variety that it is planning to be active in ten South East Asian territories. Rival, Tencent Video recently launched its service in Thailand.

https://variety.com/2019/digital/asia/china-iqiyi-malaysia-astro-1203247128/