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Business deals

Tencent buys troubled Malaysian video streaming service iflix

Tech group aims to expand on-demand video business beyond China

Passengers are glued to their phones at Kuala Lumpur International Airport: Tencent will buy one of Malaysia's biggest streaming video companies.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- China's Tencent Holdings has agreed to acquire assets belonging to Malaysian video streaming platform iflix, gaining access to viewers across Southeast Asia.

Tencent will buy content, technology and resources from iflix, a spokesperson for the Chinese company said. The tech giant did not disclose the value of the deal.

Founded in 2014, iflix now operates in 13 Asian countries and reports over 10 million viewers. The platform developed a large following by delivering content tailored for markets in their local languages.

But the company has been struggling to make a profit under the weight of content costs. Its co-founders had been planning an initial public offering this year but appear to have changed course amid the uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic.

Tencent is pouring resources into its international video streaming arm, WeTV. The service went live last year in Thailand and is branching into other countries in the region. The acquisition of iflix assets will provide a springboard to accelerate this expansion.

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