iQIYI Inc. (NASDAQ : IQ ), an innovative market-leading online entertainment service in China, recently celebrated the conclusion of its mega-hit costume drama “Story of Yanxi Palace,” a Qing dynasty tale of scheming concubines and palace intrigue. Having captivated a nation, the 70-episode series – co-produced by iQIYI and Huanyu Film Works – has at its conclusion been streamed a total of over 15 billion times.
Over the course of its run, the wildly popular “Story of Yanxi Palace” has been the undisputed entertainment sensation this year in China. The show was the most watched online drama in China for 39 successive days this summer, being streamed an average of 300 million times a day, on its peak day receiving a record breaking more than 700 million views. On major Chinese Twitter-like social networking platform Weibo, “Story of Yanxi Palace” rose to the top of the site’s “Hot Searches” list 500 separate times, while total posts using the hashtag “#Story of Yanxi Palace” received over 12 billion views. In the wake of the show’s popularity, Chinese media have stated a noteworthyincrease in visits to the show’s eponymous Yanxi Palace within the Forbidden City.
“We feel immensely proud to see the astounding success of ‘Story of Yanxi Palace’ this summer, and the mark it has left on popular culture,” said Dr. Gong Yu, founder and CEO of iQIYI. “In the production process of “Story of Yanxi Palace”, we deliberately cast lesser known actors with the most promising talent, rejecting recent trends in Chinese industry that put too much emphasis of the celebrity appeal of actors in their productions. The remarkable reception seen by the show proves that this was the right choice, once again validating iQIYI’s focus on producing and selecting only the highest quality content. This is the model that iQIYI has always adhered to, and we will not swerve from this vision – Chinese entertainment fans know that the iQIYI brand is a mark of great content.”
Following the show’s enthusiastic reception domestically, “Story of Yanxi Palace” has also crossed language and cultural barriers to reach noteworthysuccess outside mainland China, and is now viewable in over 70 countries and regions. The show has been distributed to major TV channels and platforms across Asia , being the most watched program in Hong Kong on TVB in its second week of airing. The show has also proved immensely popular outside Asia, becoming one of the most watched licensed Chinese language dramas on Youtube this year.