DUBAI: iQiyi International has officially launched in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt with over 3,000 pieces of content on the platform.
Headquartered in Singapore, it is one of the largest streaming providers of pan-Asian content. The website and app are available in 12 languages, including English and Arabic.
“Users can choose their preferred language on their website or the app, and the interfaces will be customized to their preferred language, making Asian content accessible to a wide range of audiences,” an iQiyi spokesperson told Arab News.
The content on the platform consists of both originals and licensed content. While the original content is available globally, the availability of licensed content depends on distributor agreements.
The decision to launch iQiyi in the Middle East was influenced by a “keen interest in Chinese and Korean drama content, with the onset of Asian content getting more recognition in the international space,” said the spokesperson.
This includes the original “Story of Yanxi Palace,” the platform’s most popular series to date globally, and “The Bad Kids,” which took home Best Creative and Best Newcomer awards at last year’s Busan International Film Festival.
While some international services take the route of adding their streaming content as a channel on existing regional platforms, iQiyi decided to launch as an independent platform.
“With a strong slate of original and licensed titles across Korean and local-language movies, dramas, variety shows and anime, iQiyi can stand alone as a strong streaming platform,” said the spokesperson. “Beyond that, we want to enable other Asian storytellers to reach an international audience.”
iQiyi is, however, exploring partnerships with agencies, content and production companies, as well as telecoms companies and broadcasters as part of its international business growth strategy.
The platform is offering a free one-month trial to new subscribers, with membership plans starting from 17.99 UAE dirhams ($4.90), SR17.99 ($4.80) and 64.99 Egyptian pounds ($4.14).