Chinese culture and entertainment group Yuewen’s first Global IP Awards ceremony, which was held in Singapore, was broadcast on Tencent Video on Monday, as part of its push to go global.
Yuewen mainly develops intellectual property (IP) based on online literature. It is known for trailblazing a pay-to-read model in China’s online literature industry, which has made it one of the most popular choices for authors looking to earn a living from online fiction. It has over 200 million monthly active users across all its platforms. Its international platform, WebNovel, has been visited over 230 million times since launching in 2017.
Works across the sphere of cultural production, including animation, movies and gaming were honored with Yuewen Global IP Awards. There was a total of 21 categories, such as “most anticipated adaptations,” “most influential adapted characters,” and “outstanding authors of the year.” Global distribution deals have already been sealed for nearly 70 percent of the award-winning IPs.
“Lord of Mysteries 2: Circle of Inevitability” is one of the “outstanding works of the year” winners. The fantasy-revenge tale drew the second-largest readership of any translated Chinese online novel last year on WebNovel.
Over 11 million users of Tencent Video have indicated their excitement for the second season of “Joy of Life,” one of the winners of “most anticipated adaptations.” Excitement for the latest installment of the time-travel historic drama isn’t just limited to viewers — Disney has already acquired the right to distribute the series outside China. The popular show is adapted from a novel of the same name by Mao Ni, published by Yuewen.
“Battle Through the Heavens” protagonist and martial arts supremo Xiao Yan was dubbed one of the “most influential adapted characters.” The character has now appeared in an original novel, TV series, and video games. In the latter half of 2023, Yuewen began to distribute one version of the game globally. The number of new players in Southeast Asia jumped 118% quarter-on-quarter in the last quarter of the year.
Through the award ceremony, Yuewen’s CEO and president Hou Xiaonan aimed to enhance the global influence of Yuewen’s original IPs. In the last two decades, the Chinese online literature industry has been at the cutting edge of technological and business innovation, and many Chinese IPs have won over audiences around the world.
Hou joined Yuewen in 2020. He is also the vice president of the platform and content group at global tech and entertainment titan Tencent, Yuewen’s parent company. Since taking on his role at Yuewen, Hou has made IP a top priority, working with global partners to build a comprehensive ecosystem and industrial chain to adapt web novels into animation, comics, movies, games, television series, and merchandise. During his tenure, accelerating globalization became Yuewen’s strategic direction.
Under his management, various adaptations have been produced from Yuewen’s originals such as “Soul Land,” “Battle Through the Heavens,” “The King’s Avatar,” “Joy of Life,” and “My Heroic Husband.”
This mature IP ecosystem has contributed to Yuewen’s popularity among content creators, as they can not only find an audience for their writing, but can also maximize the value of their creations.
By the end of 2023, WebNovel had published 3,800 translated Chinese web novels, up 31% on a year-to-year basis. Around 410,000 writers from all over the world have published more than 620,000 original works to WebNovel, which have been viewed 230 million times in total.
Yuewen has also partnered with creative teams from the US, the UK, India, Japan, and Singapore to develop original IP for the global market and apply the same business model used for Chinese IP. For example, “My Vampire System,” written by British author JKSManga and published on WebNovel, has been translated into six languages and adapted into audiobook and comic versions.
In 2022, Chinese web novels were added to the British Library’s collection for the first time. Of the 16 works, all were originally published by Yuewen.