The agreement, between Tencent and US studios Disney and 21st Century Fox, the latter of which handles distribution of the films in some windows, gives the Chinese company access to the complete Star Wars saga in the run-up to the release of the latest feature in the franchise Star Wars: The Force Awakens in December.
The films have been released today in China on an SVOD and transactional-VOD basis. Tencent has created a Star Wars hub and has also released the features on its online channels v.qq.com, film.qq.com and the Tencent Video app.
S.Y. Lau, senior executive VP of Tencent and president of Tencent Online Media Group, said: “Through this collaboration with Disney and [Fox film studio arm] 20th Century Fox, we will elevate and tailor the Star Wars experience for fans via Tencent’s strong understanding of the market and the viral network effect of the highly-connected Tencent user base.”
As well as the full-length films, the channels will carry short-form, behind the scenes and other Star Wars extras and associated content.
Carol Choi, vice president, marketing, The Walt Disney Company China said: “By working with Tencent we can extend the Star Wars franchise to Tencent’s massive user base and go to the heart of digital lifestyles in China. Tencent’s multi-platform capabilities and track record in distributing and protecting IP made it the clear choice for this collaboration.”