Here’s why 2021 is the start of the C-Drama golden years

An appetite for Chinese language content is growing steadily worldwide, and iQiyi—one of the most in-demand streaming services based in Singapore—is blazing the trail forward. Just recently, the streaming platform held a virtual regional press conference for its first Southeast Asia original dubbed, The Ferryman: Legends of Nanyang, featuring the star-studded cast of Lawrence Wong, Qi Yuwu, Kate Kinney, Tay Ping Hui, Jeanette Aw, Debbie Goh, Jojo Goh, and Koe Yeet. The event also saw the global trailer debut of the highly anticipated Danger Zone and Rainless Love in a Godless Land.

The Ferryman: Legends of Nanyang cast Lawrence Wong, Qi Yuwu, Kate Kinney, Tay Ping Hui, Jeanette Aw, Debbie Goh, Jojo Goh, and Koe Yeet.

We are indeed encouraged by the number of global users who want and are willing to watch Chinese dramas,” said Kuek Yu-Chuang, iQiyi’s vice president of international business, referring to the study the streamer conducted recently. 

In an online survey iQiyi conducted through Pollfish, the pilot study showed that a promising 76% of global respondents started sampling Chinese dramas within the past two years, with 43% watching these content on streaming platforms. The study is pretty recent, done in August and surveying 5,200 respondents across 26 countries.

C-Drama trends

One in two of those surveyed also claimed to enjoy watching C-dramas and will recommend C-dramas they like to others. In particular, iQiyi saw the most number of respondents wanting C-content in Thailand (80%), Singapore (70%), and Malaysia (71%). In addition, more than 40% consider it essential for a streaming service to offer Chinese language content. 

Survey results from the Philippines revealed that 76% of the respondents have started watching Chinese language dramas within the last two years, while 46% have established a regular habit of watching Chinese content. From these two sub-groups of audiences, it was further discovered that more than half of them are watching Chinese films and series on iQiyi. 

“As Chinese content represents a cutting-edge entertainment trend, I’m thrilled to share that our SWEET ON collection, launched in May 2021, saw an encouraging viewership of over 59 million views globally. iQiyi is committed to offering our fans worldwide the best-in-class Chinese language entertainment.”

On the same event, iQiyi also premiered special sizzles of Danger Zone, and Rainless Love in a Godless Land, alongside a 12 minute-long exclusive preview of The Ferryman: Legends of Nanyang, showcasing iQiyi’s niche in catering to diversity in tastes and genre preferences, innovative storylines, and premium production quality. 

If you want to give C-Dramas a try, here are more details on the upcoming iQiyi Originals:

The Ferryman: Legends of Nanyang, August 24 global premiere

Take a peek into the underworld through the “Yin Yang eyes” of the protagonist Xia Dong Qing (Lawrence Wong) as he, along with his trusty partners Zhao Li (Qi Yuwu) and Xiao Ya (Kate Kinney), communicates with and helps distressed, wandering souls in the mortal world with their unfinished business. The Ferryman: Legends of Nanyang is iQiyi’s first Southeast Asian Original and iQiyi’s first international Original available Dolby Atmos. 

Danger Zone, September 3 global premiere

iQiyi’s first original Chinese language prison series, Danger Zone, tells the story of a series of homicide cases rocking a coastal town named Donglin. With no clues to follow, rookie criminal investigator Ren Fei (Berant Zhu) one day receives an anonymous tip from Liang Yandong (Vic Chou), who was calling from within the prison. 

Rainless Love in a Godless Land, Coming Soon

“This is a love story between the God of Rain and a mortal before Armageddon.” Rainless Love in a Godless Land tells a story based on mythology from the indigenous Amis tribe. An unlikely romantic relationship between a tour guide and the God of Rain coincides with the countdown to Armageddon. Produced and directed by industry veterans and starring an award-winning cast Chiao Chiao Tzeng, Paul Fu, Kenny Yen, Alice Ko (Special Appearance), Joseph Cheng (Special Appearance).

What’s your favorite C-Drama so far? Let us know in the comments!

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