The literature division of Chinese online video and entertainment service provider iQIYI has exclusively signed four of China’s most popular online novelists to oversee an original content development team.
As the newly minted Chief Structure Officers for iQIYI Literature, manga and anime-focused writers Tang Shao, Nan Pai San Shu, Fresh Guoguo and Shui Qian Cheng will lead a team of star writers to shape the platform’s development of original IP and, ultimately, grow its original content library.
The deal also sees iQIYI Literature acquire exclusive rights to Tang Shao’s new novel Fantastic Ocean, Amazing Land. Known as China’s highest-paid web novelist, Tang Shao (Dou Luo Continent) topped China’s list of wealthiest online writers from 2012 to 2018 and set a Guinness World Record in 2012 for 86 months of uninterrupted daily online publishing.
Since launching in 2016, iQIYI Literature has published more than 1,000 original works from a roster of more than 60,000 registered writers. As an incentive, the platform offers the iQIYI Literature Prize, which supports emerging writers.
The platform’s new hires follow the January launch of iQIYI Reading, a popular app featuring published literature, original books that have been adapted for TV and films, as well as online novels.
iQIYI Literature’s original content push mirrors the expansion of US online self-publishing platform Wattpad, which is seeing an uptick in work ordered for TV series, including the upcoming Hulu/AwesomenessTV supernatural thriller Light as a Feather.