Bilibili Acquires Virtual Tech Firm Qianyu Network

According to Chinese commercial inquiry platform Tianyancha, Shanghai Qianyu Network Technology Co., Ltd. has recently registered changes with the country’s Industrial and Commercial Administration. Three former partner companies have withdrawn from its list of shareholders, while Shanghai Magic Electric Information Technology Co., Ltd., an affiliated company of Bilibili, has been added as the new wholly-owning shareholder. In addition, the legal representative of Qianyu Network was changed from Tang Jiajun to Zheng Binwei.

Tianyancha also shows that Shanghai Qianyu Network Technology Co., Ltd., formerly known as Hangzhou Yizhen Network Technology Co., Ltd., was established in March 2019 with a registered capital of 3,762,500 yuan ($593,660). The company focuses on developing virtual characters and virtual social interaction, and its software copyrights are mostly related to virtual technologies, including 3D virtual idol live-streaming software and a virtual face synchronous mapping livestream system.

Bilibili, originally famous for its “ACG” (Animation, Comics, Games) subculture content, has already started to invest in virtual character businesses. For example, in 2019, Bilibili acquired Shanghai Henian Information Technology Co., Ltd., which developed and released Luo Tianyi, a famous virtual idol. Bilibili adopted these popular virtual idols to become its “hosts.” Moreover, virtual characters are now key factors in stimulating the business growth of Bilibili.

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Bilibili has now gathered China’s richest group of virtual hosts, also with the highest concentration,” said Chen Rui, CEO of Bilibili, on the firm’s 12th anniversary in 2021. Chen also pointed out that virtual hosts have become the fastest growing category in the field of livestreaming on Bilibili. In the past year, over 32,000 virtual hosts started broadcasting on Bilibili, an increase of 40% year-on-year.

According to National Business Daily, the revenue generated by these virtual hosts on Bilibili increased from 7.62 million yuan in January 2020 to over 50 million yuan in November 2021, and the number of people who paid to watch their livestreams increased from 70,000 to over 250,000 in the same period. Some famous virtual hosts have performed strongly and have become an important part of all Bilibili hosts.