China’s iQIYI Hires Netflix Executive Kuek Yu-Chuang For Asia Expansion Role
Reporting to Yang Xianghua, iQIYI’s president of overseas business, Kuek will oversee strategic planning, market development and public affairs in company’s global expansion.
Kuek studied at Peking University and later obtained post-graduate degrees from Harvard and INSEAD. He began his career with the Singapore government and held roles as a diplomat, trade negotiator and policy-maker, before moving into the private sector with jobs at ICANN Asia Pacific and Yahoo! Inc.
“We want to send a strong signal to potential partners that we are looking to collaborate and contribute to the global streaming ecosystem. I look forward to seeing Kuek’s leadership, across markets and cultures, accelerate the company’s global expansion,” said Yang in a statement.
IQIYI, which claims 119 million paying subscribers, sees its operations predominantly in mainland China. It also has established a foothold in Taiwan.
In June last year, it launched its app across much of South East Asia. In November it announced a partnership with regional pay-TV group Astro to localize activities in Malaysia, but to date, iQIYI has not yet developed much of a local service in any other SE Asian territory. Industry sources say that iQIYI is also keen to expand into India in the near future.
NASDAQ-listed iQIYI is controlled by Chinese search-firm Baidu. It has attempted to diversify away from the subscription and ad-supported VoD models by developing content distribution, live broadcasting, online games, IP licensing, online literature and e-commerce functions.
VARIETY – Patrick Frater