Chinese video portal LeTV (SHE:300104) announced today it has acquired Flower TV (花儿影视) for nearly RMB 1.6 billion ($261 million). We at Tech in Asia had never heard of Flower TV before, but it transpires it’s an award-winning TV production studio. Flower TV has been behind several popular Chinese TV series (website in Chinese) over the years.
The acquisition makes sense for the Hulu-like LeTV, which has been creating original content for its users. Its subsidiary LeVision partly produced and distributed this year’s controversial Tiny Times and Tiny Times 2 movies. The first of that movie series streamed for free on LeTV this summer.
Licensed content like TV dramas and major movies are a huge new battleground in China as video-streaming sites slowly move away from user-generated content. LeTV is up against big spenders such as Youku, Baidu’s iQiyi and PPS sites, PPTV, Tencent Video, and many others.
LeTV just received $32.5 million in August in its first round of funding since going public in 2010. The company is effectively valued at $2.52 billion.
(Editing by Steven Millward)