Chinese streaming giant iQiyi and Singapore-headquartered entertainment company G.H.Y Culture & Media signed a memorandum of understanding yesterday to form a Singapore-based talent management agency for the South-east Asia market.
Local actor Tay Ping Hui (photo, in a still of The Ferryman: Legends Of Nanyang), who is represented by G.H.Y, is set to be the first talent under Uni-Icon Entertainment.
The joint venture aims to identify and promote talent in South-east Asia via a talent search programme that will air on iQiyi International streaming platform.
The show will scout for talent from countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. Details on the show will be released at a later date.
The talent agency will help to promote regional stars in China as well.
In a press statement, Mr Kuek Yu-Chuang, vice-president of international business at iQiyi, says: "The success of The Little Nyonya demonstrates a growing appetite for South-east Asian stories in China and we see the vast potential and opportunity for artistes here to tell these stories together with iQiyi."
The Little Nyonya (2020) is a Chinese remake of the 2008 Channel 8 hit of the same name. It had a cast of Chinese and Singaporean actors and saw strong ratings in China.
G.H.Y's first South-east Asian original production - fantasy series The Ferryman: Legends Of Nanyang, starring well-known local names such as Lawrence Wong, Qi Yuwu, Tay and Jeanette Aw - will debut later this year on iQiyi.
Director Guo Jingyu says identifying new talent is important to his company's future growth. He is the executive chairman and group chief executive officer of G.H.Y, which debuted on the Singapore Exchange in December.
He says: "We have earmarked South-east Asia to be a growth market and this investment will further expand our footprint. As we diversify our pipeline of multi-genre dramas and films, it is crucial to identify local talent to support our growth ambitions."