Manya Zhou

Xilam preps China growth with new hire

The prodco has brought on Manya Zhou to create partnerships and build awareness of its IPs in the region.
September 3, 2019

Xilam Animation is continuing its international growth with the hiring Manya Zhou for the newly created role head of business development for China. In her new position Zhou is responsible for managing local linear and digital distribution, L&M and potential co-pro opportunities in the region.

The Paris-based prodco is seeing strong potential in the Chinese market and wants to have a dedicated point of contact who can speak Chinese to execute the studio’s plans for the region, according to a spokesperson. Zhou is Xilam’s first dedicated hire for the market and was brought on to help the studio break into a growing area of business, which was previously developed and managed by the existing sales team.

Based in Paris, Zhou began in July and reports to Xilam’s EVP of global sales development Morgann Favennec. Her remit is to create strategic partnerships and build awareness for the studio’s portfolio of animated series, including Oggy and the Cockroaches, Zig & Sharko, Paprika, Mr Magoo and Moka in China.

Prior to joining the prodco, Zhou was the business development manager in Asia for Paris-based animation studio Amuse, where she handled co-pros, investment and licensing opportunities with Chinese partners, such as Tencent, Youku and Alibaba. Before that, she worked as a Chinese language consultant and cinema analyst for French analysts Spideo, where she was responsible for working on ways to adapt Asian cinema and improve Spideo’s recommendation algorithms.

This has been a year of growth for Xilam’s team. Most recently, the studio brought on another former Amuse employee, Charles Courcier, as the head of digital production, in a bid to build its YouTube and AVOD business. It also hired former Mattel brand and product developer Capucine Humblot to develop L&M strategies for its shows in June and recruited Safaa Benazzouz as its SVP of media and sales distribution for LatAm, MENA and Southern Europe, back in February.

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