Sony Corp America is investing $400 million in Chinese video streaming site Bilibili.
SCA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Corp. After the closure of the deal, SCA will own 4.98% of Bilibili’s total issued shares. Sony and Bilibili will further collaborate in the entertainment business in China, and the deal will include new anime and mobile game partnerships.
SCA will subscribe for 17,310,696 newly issued Class Z ordinary shares of Bilibilli for an aggregate consideration of approximately $400 million. The purchase price will be $23.1071 per share, and the transaction is expected to close on or before April 10, 2020.
Bilibili can best be described as a mix between Twitch and Netflix for China’s younger generation. Sony is hoping to get in on the ground floor of the exploding entertainment industry in China.
“Sony’s investment further aligns us with the world’s leader in entertainment and technology. [This] will enhance our capability to bring high-quality content and services to our growing community,” Bilibili executive Rui Chen said. “We look forward to joining efforts on a broader scale to fulfill the tremendous and growing entertainment needs in China.”
Bilibilli started as a popular animation site for Chinese teenagers – similar to Crunchyroll in the U.S.
The site has since expanded its content offering to include eSports, music videos, and documentaries. It now has over 130 million monthly active users inside China. Bilibili is backed by tech giants Tencent and Alibaba, with an exclusive deal to stream League of Legends in China. eSports are rapidly gaining popularity in China – that deal is worth over $113 million and lasts for three years.
The investment comes at a strange time as the U.S. government investigates another Chinese owned media company, TikTok. You’d expect Sony Corp at large to invest, rather than its subsidiary in America.