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Chinese video websites begin producing original content

Video websites in China are expected to produce more original content, experts and industry insiders said today during the Magnolia forum of the ongoing 20th Shanghai TV Festival.

Video websites used to simply provide a platform for the transmission of television shows and films, but nowadays, they are producing their own series.

By the end of this year more than 1,000 episodes of original online content will be broadcast on China's major video-sharing websites. Most series are tailor made for Chinese Internet users.

Wang Juan, deputy general manager of Tencent Online Video, said they started producing their own series last year. This year they will present around 500 episodes of original content.

"Excellent content and a perfect user experience are the goals of video websites," said Wang. "We are still new in the field of online series production. But it is a business with great potential."

"Death Notify," a suspense thriller made by Tencent, received more than 2 million clicks within the first 12 hours when it debuted on Tuesday.

Famous scriptwriter Li Xiao said the series explores the dark side of human nature and it has changed the stereotype that domestic online series are just funny and shallow parodies.

"People want a story that resonates," Li said. "The popularity of the series demonstrates that online shows can cover many subjects and be produced in many different styles, some of which can even be experimental."

Ma Zhongjun, board chairman of Ciwen Media Group, which is co-producer of "Death Notify," said they will continue producing online series.

Industry professionals said online shows have an advantage over television dramas because viewers can get more involved in the story and, in some cases, even vote on the future story line.


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