iQIYI grooms SEA talent with new agency based out of SG

Streaming service iQIYI has tied up with entertainment company G.H.Y Culture & Media to establish a talent management agency to be based in Singapore. The joint venture will identify and promote talent across Southeast Asia, and aims to boost both companies' presence in the Southeast Asian media and entertainment scene. A talent search programme across region, particularly in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines, is also in the pipeline. The talent search programme will be streamed exclusively on the iQIYI International platform and iQ.com, according the company.

One of G.H.Y's talent, Tay Ping Hui, is primed to be the first talent to be represented by the new talent management agency. Tay, who most recently acted in the Chinese period drama, Handsome Siblings, is known for his versatility in acting roles, bilingualism, and is "an established name" in the regional media and entertainment scene. MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to iQIYI for additional information about the new agency.

This establishment for the talent management agency comes as iQIYI looks to further its working relationship with G.H.Y. According to Yang Xianghua, president of membership and overseas business group at iQIYl,  the partnership looks to tap on iQIYI’s technical abilities, and G.H.Y’s end-to-end production expertise. "We look forward to providing Southeast Asian talents a gateway to one of the biggest entertainment markets in the world, turning them into household names," Yang said. 

G.H.Y Culture & Media is an entertainment and content provider specialising in the production and distribution of films, dramas, and live entertainment across APAC. It currently has over 200 employees across Singapore, Malaysia, China and Australia. Other than its core businesses, the company also engages in artiste management, asset rental, post-production and visual effects services, thus providing diversified business structure solutions, the company's official website said.

G.H.Y's executive chairman and group CEO, Guo Jingyu said that the partnership is a "key milestone" for the company as it has earmarked Southeast Asia to be a growth market and hopes this investment will further expand its footprint in the region. He added: "As we diversify our pipeline of multi-genre dramas and films, it is crucial to identify local talent to support our growth ambitions." Currently, iQIYI is working with G.H.Y on its first Southeast Asian original production, The Ferryman: Legends of Nanyang, which will be released later this year.

iQIYI's decision to launch the talent management agency in Singapore is unsurprising, given that the company recently set up its international headquarters here, as part of its international expansion plans. The company also said it is eyeing 200 new employees in the next few years and hopes to tap on the talent pool in Singapore. In a statement to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE then, iQIYI's spokesperson said the company will be hiring across content, ad sales, community engagement, marketing and partnerships. According to Kuek Yu-Chuang, VP for international business at iQIYI, Singapore was chosen due to its connectivity and reputation as a prime talent hub, which makes it "the ideal gateway to ramp up [its] global operations". Separately, iQIYI has also partnered with the Singapore Tourism Board in November last year to feature Singapore as the exclusive destination partner for the third season of its variety competition Youth with You 3.

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