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Huanyu Entertainment Founder Yu Zheng Speaks About Cultural Responsibility of Film and TV at Harvard College China Forum

HuanyuApril 16, 2019

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 15, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- (Harvard University, Cambridge) - On April 12, 2019, local time, the long-awaiting 22nd Harvard College China Forum kicked off in Boston in the United States, under the theme of A Global Community, One Shared Destiny.

At 1 p.m. that day, the Fireside Chat of the Harvard College China Forum was held at Harvard University’s Yenching Auditorium. Wang Xiaohui, Chief Content Officer and Content Business President of iQiyi, Yu Zheng, co-founder, screenwriter and producer of Huanyu Entertainment, Lian Jie, Chairman of Perfect World Pictures, and Zhang Xiaolong, a famous Chinese actor, etiquette tutor and producer, were invited to address the entertainment panel session of the event.

As the biggest hit in the TV market in 2018, Story of Yanxi Palace became a hot topic discussed at the forum. Its chief producer, Yu Zheng, elaborated on the creative idea and commercial logic behind the unprecedented popularity of this TV series, and pointed out that, ‘Huanyu Entertainment has long been dedicated to disseminating and inheriting traditional culture through films and TV dramas, which is the mission of the current generation of filmmakers and others who work in the TV industry.’

Cultural and Emotional Logic Behind Big HitsTo illustrate the global popularity of Story of Yanxi Palace, Yu offered up the following numbers in his presentation: The show ranked first on Google Trend’s most searched TV series list in 2018, racked up more than 20 billion hits in a single online video platform on the Chinese mainland, reached an audience rating of 39.2% when broadcast on Hong Kong-based TVB, has been aired in more than 90 countries and became the first Chinese TV series to be listed among the 2018 best overseas TV series by U.S.-based entertainment magazine Variety. All of these figures are evidence of how Story of Yanxi Palace has been embraced by the entire world.

Apart from these data, audiences enjoy that most films and TV dramas presented by Huanyu Entertainment are imbued with elements of traditional Chinese culture, and some feature the integration of depictions of a variety of traditional crafts. For instance, Story of Yanxi Palace features scenes depicting embroidery, Kunqu Opera and molten iron fireworks, while Untouchable Lovers boasts a visual effect close to traditional ink-and-wash painting. Meanwhile, Winter Begonia will tell stories about Peking Opera, a national treasure of China.

‘Huanyu Entertainment is committed to showcasing traditional Chinese culture in its productions,’ Yu declared. ‘This is because we realize that many centuries-old exquisite techniques are dying out and increasing numbers of youngsters know little about and show little interest in traditional culture. Huanyu Entertainment has long been dedicated to disseminating and inheriting traditional culture through films and TV dramas, which is the mission of the current generation of filmmakers and others who work in the TV industry.’

From the perspective of its culture-based content, Yu noted that the popularity of Story of Yanxi Palace can be attributed to its attractive plot and exquisite production value. More importantly, the characters in the TV series are no longer stereotyped in terms of personality, but cater to audience demands of changing aesthetic taste. For instance, Wei Yingluo, the female lead in Story of Yanxi Palace, is quite different from female characters featured in previous TV dramas — she abhors evils as a deadly foe and, to some extent, represents a group of independent, empowered women who don’t rely on men and have clear goals and great capabilities. Such a character adheres to the common values of a global audience.

Overseas Strategy and Business Logic of Huanyu Entertainment On the topic of business strategies, Yang Le, CEO of Huanyu Entertainment, stated at the forum that the company has taken the lead in both attaining popularity across online platforms and exploring overseas markets. Apart from Chinese films and TV dramas, Huanyu Entertainment has been effective in taking Chinese music and novels abroad to global audiences and readers. It has not only cooperated with overseas platforms in the realm of trade of copyrighted materials, but also actively explored a greater number diversified cooperation channels.

In an interview with the media, Yang gave some insight into Huanyu Entertainment’s overseas strategy. Today, the influence of the company is expanding from Asia to the rest of the world. Its productions have been aired not only in Southeast Asia, Japan and South Korea but also across Australia, Europe and America, and its audience coverage abroad has expanded from overseas Chinese to cover a greater number of people. Yu and Yang both declared, ‘Only things that are national in style will be accepted internationally. Huanyu Entertainment will continue to be a forerunner in spreading Chinese culture and we invite global partners to join in the production and dissemination of excellent films and TV productions.’

Founded in 1998, the Harvard College China Forum is North America’s leading and longest-running student-run conference on China. The forum aims to create a global platform to engage leaders in the fields of business, academia and politics in discourse that offers insights and generates ideas, so as to promote mutual understanding and cooperation between China and the rest of the world. So far, a number of Chinese and foreign leaders and elites from various fields have been invited to participate in discussions at the forum, including Zhou Xiaochuan, former governor and Party chief of the People’s Bank of China, Li Zhaoxing, former foreign minister of China, Kevin Rudd, the 26th prime minister of Australia, Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group, Lei Jun, chairman and CEO of Xiaomi Inc., and renowned writer Yan Geling.

Contact: Zhou WeishunEmail:zhouweishun@huanyutv.com

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