Chinese animation company takes ownership of digital comic platform U17.com.
Cai Dongqing, president, Alpha; Cai Xiaodong, chief executive officer, Alpha; Zhou Jingqi, chief executive officer, U17.com; and cartoonist Hanwu.
“For Alpha, partnering with U17.com is like capturing China’s largest goldmine of animation IP’s,” says Chen Derong, president, Alpha’s Interactive Entertainment division. “U17.com is a rare gem in the industry with three distinguishing features–originality, platform-centeredness and benchmark status.”
The U17.com website has close to 7 million registered users and currently features more than 40,000 comics from 20,000 cartoonists. The site gets an average of 40 million views a day.
U17.com will now become part of Alpha’s Anime, Comic and Games platform, which is designed to be a growth engine for Alpha’s “pan-entertainment” ecosystem.
Combined the two companies are valued at RMB 904 million (approximately $142 million).
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“It’s a gathering place for a countless number of hopeful and aspiring creators; it’s a place where the desire for freedom and the dreams of teenage years merge and grow,” says Zhou Jingqi, founder, U17.com. “We have been approached by many big companies in the past two years for buying our shares or merger and acquisition deals, but we turned them away, for we believe U17.com needs a partner that truly appreciates the values of comics and animations and that, to us, was Alpha.”
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