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bilibili Acquires Emon Animation Company

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Acquisition part of larger bilibili acquisition of Haoliners parent company

Chinese streaming platform bilibili announced last week that it has wholly acquired Shanghai-based animation company Haoliners Cultures Media Co., Ltd., including Haoliners' Japanese subsidiary Emon Animation Company, on February 3.

Emon was founded in October 2015, and GONZO co-founder Shouji Murahama works as an operating officer in the company. The studio has since worked as the main animation studio for such titles as A Centaur's Life, To Be Hero, Hitori no Shita - the outcast, Spiritpact, and The Silver Guardian (and for sequels to some of these shows), and has assisted in such projects as Flavors of Youth, Attack on Titan, and Ulysses: Jeanne d'Arc and the Alchemist Knight.

Emon previously bought 51% majority stake in animation studio Artland in 2016, but Artland shut down in 2017, and Emon eventually sold its majority stake to Tokyo-based company LEVELS.

The company bilibili was founded in 2009, and it is China's largest streaming platform for Japanese animation, above TencentVideo and iQIYI. The company streams anime titles and also invests in anime productions. The website also includes Chinese animation and user-uploaded content. The service collects both advertising revenue and pay-per-view subscription charges.

American anime publisher Funimation and bilibili jointly announced a partnership to acquire anime licenses in March 2019. For the partnership, both companies are jointly acquiring licenses "over the next few years," including IP rights for broadcast television, video-on-demand, electronic sell-through, home entertainment, gaming, and merchandise in the United States and China.

Last year, Sony Corporation of America payed about US$400 million to buy 17.3 million shares of bilibili, amounting to 4.98% of the Chinese company's stock. The companies plan to collaborate on projects in the Chinese entertainment market, including animation and mobile games, after signing their business contract.

Source: Animation Business Journal (Tadashi Sudo)

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