BEIJING – Viewers in Singapore may have heard of the latest drama sensation from China, which has garnered billions of views online with its scenes of peach blossoms, immortals and romance across lifetimes.
Eternal Love, better known in Chinese as Sansheng Sanshi Shili Taohua, was actually adapted from an online novel.
In China, online novels have become big business, drawing investors and interest from China’s biggest tech companies.
“Online novels can be considered the biggest source of IP in the (Chinese) market today. They sit on the very top of the upstream of the entire pan-entertainment industry chain, said analyst Jing Ruyi at iResearch Consulting, a Chinese Internet market research firm. IP, or intellectual property, is used in China to refer to original content.
Just last week, China Literature, the online e-book arm of technology giant Tencent, went public in Hong Kong, in the biggest tech listing in the territory in 10 years. It raised a whopping HK$8.3 billion (S$1.5 billion), and its shares now trade at around HK$100 apiece, giving it a market value of HK$90 billion.
In China, more than 330 million people – or about one in four Chinese – read online novels spanning genres such as fantasy, swordfighting, tomb-raiding and time travel.
Top online works
The top 10 online authors in China have created franchises worth one billion yuan (S$205 million) each, according to a ranking of the most valuable creative works intellectual property (IP) this year.
Data such as online readership, fan numbers and how often a work had been recommended were crunched by China-based Hurun Research Institute and IP management agency Mopian, to compile a list of the 100 most valuable creative works IP in China over the past 20 years.
The initial findings were supplemented with a second round of assessment where researchers and industry experts awarded additional points based on a work’s social impact and literary value.
Top of the list is Fights Break…