BBC Studios and Bilibili have signed a multi-year cooperation agreement to commission new content and jointly develop BBC Studios or Bilibili IP for the Chinese market, with several documentaries in the works.
The deal builds on an already existing partnership, and will see Bilibili — the Sony-backed, Chinese online entertainment platform catering to Gen Z audiences – collaborate on BBC Studios-led productions.
Factual programs that feature segments about Chinese culture will be coproduced by BBC Studios and Bilibili. Several documentary programs about Chinese culture including Chinese voices are currently in preparation for production.
Bilibili will also become a coproduction partner in China for new BBC Studios factual titles, including the forthcoming BBC Studios landmark series The Green Planet (pictured) and Mating Game.
The two parties will also double down on science productions. Working together with Bilibili, BBC Studios Science Unit will produce a newly commissioned science series, Odyssey into the Future, featuring Chinese author Liu Cixin.
Both companies are also exploring the potential for BBC Studios to invest in Bilibili-produced content, bringing the Chinese content experience to the global stage. Assorted BBC Studios entertainment shows will become available on Bilibili, including Top Gear.
Jon Penn, EVP, BBC Studios Asia Pacific, said in a statement: “China is one of the fastest-changing and most dynamic media markets in the world. We’re delighted to have forged this long-term partnership with Bilibili which will see BBC Studios deepen its participation in China. This more advanced strategic partnership with Bilibili is a significant breakthrough, as it will help us to further explore the potential of China’s content industry.”
Li Ni, vice chairwoman and COO of Bilibili added: “Documentary is one of the most popular content categories among our users. Our continuous investment and commitment in this area is bearing fruit: Bilibili’s video library contains more than 3,000 documentaries; we have also produced and coproduced hundreds of titles, around which we have built up a unique content ecosystem. BBC Studios not only brings valuable production expertise to the table, but also has a strong brand recognition and influence around the world. Looking forward, we are committed to leveraging the strengths of both parties to explore more diverse content together. We will collaborate to create high-quality productions while bringing more Chinese original content to overseas markets.”