U17 Comics to Merge with Bilibili Comics
On September 1, China’s largest original comic website U17 Comics announced that its website will be officially shut down on December 31 but will continue to provide services through Bilibili Comics in the future. At the same time, U17 Comics officially reminded users to pay attention to the follow-up time nodes of its products and complete any necessary asset migrations as soon as possible.
According to the announcement, U17 Comics will join the Bilibili Comics family from now on. Users can bind their own U17 Comics account with a Bilibili account and complete asset migrations with one click.
Founded in 2009, U17 Comics was one of the earliest online comic platforms in China. At present, the company has accumulated over 32 million users, gathered over 70,000 original cartoonists and serialized over 45,000 original comics. The platform has gathered famous Chinese works and IP such as “One Hundred Thousand Bad Jokes”, “Rakshasa Street”, “BEE” and “Die Now”. According to public information, Alpha Group Co., Ltd., a Chinese animation group, acquired 100% equity of U17 Comics by issuing shares and paying cash in 2015.
In November last year, Alpha Group announced that Bilibili had wholly acquired the original comic platform U17 Comics, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alpha, at a purchase price of 600 million yuan ($86.97 million).
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In January this year, Starry April Co., Ltd., a company affiliated with U17 Comics, made a registration change with the Industrial and Commercial Administration, and the original shareholder Alpha Group withdrew, adding Shanghai Magic Electric Information Technology Co., Ltd., an affiliated company of Bilibili, as a shareholder, holding 100% of the shares. For this acquisition, Carly Lee, vice chairman and COO of Bilibili, said, “There are many original works on U17 Comics that users like, and it is expected that these leading IPs will be diversified in the content ecology of Bilibili.”
Bilibili has been closely related to animation since its establishment. According to iResearch’s 2020 China Animation Industry Research Report, Bilibili has invested in 26 animation-related enterprises from 2017 to 2019. At the same time, animation works adapted from the IP of several leading cartoons by U17 Comics were also broadcast simultaneously in Bilibili, among which the views of Rakshasa Street exceeded 300 million in its second season.