A Chinese streaming service has acquired almost 300 hours of preschool programming from BBC Worldwide (BBCWW), marking the first time CBeebies content will be officially available on a digital platform in China.

iQiyi has signed a memorandum of understanding with BBCWW for the package of programming, which includes Go Jetters, Sarah & Duck and Hey Duggee.
The shows will be available in English and/or Mandarin.

The streaming service claims to have 20 million paid subscribers as of June 2016 and is also the most-used app in China.

The MOU was signed by David Weiland, executive VP of Asia at BBCWW, and Wang Xiaohui, chief content officer at iQiyi. It was witnessed by Kelvin Yau, general manager of Greater China at BBCWW, and Zeng Shangyou, director of the copyright management centre at iQiyi.

“This is the first time CBeebies programmes will be available as a block on a digital platform in China,” said Weiland. “This partnership is an affirmation of the shared commitment to bring the very best of BBC programmes to a wider audience across China.”

Xiaohui added: “We are confident that CBeebies’ programmes aimed at encouraging ‘learning through play’ in a consistently safe environment will be very popular with our audience.”

BBCWW has previously partnered with iQiyi on factual content, while iQiyi has stocked up on children’s programming from distributors including DHX Media.

The announcement was made during BBCWW’s Showcase 2017 event, which is underway in Liverpool.

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By Expat