IQiyi Launches Online Wallet With VIP Membership Benefits
The stock of China's entertainment platform jumped 5% on Monday after the company released "Change Plus," its new online wallet service.
One of the world's largest content streaming platforms, iQiyi Inc. (Nasdaq: IQ), announced that it is delving into the financial sector with its new online wallet, "Change Plus," sending the stock of the company up 5 percent on Monday to $34.51 per American depositary share.
The company, which has been dubbed the "Netflix of China," said its banking service would let users enjoy certain benefits that VIP members of iQiyi enjoy, such as reward-giving on its live streaming app Qixiu and voting rights for shows such as The Rap of China, iQiyi's original popular reality show.
The benefits of iQiyi's VIP membership would last as long as users keep money in their wallet accounts, the company said. In addition, Change Plus account holders would get a "steady return" on their savings, as well as interest on their deposits in accordance with China's unified current interest rate.
The company said the launch of Change Plus is meant to improve user experience and let iQiyi "explore new growth opportunities" in addition to its advertising, paid membership, publishing, distribution, and derivative business licensing capabilities.
"On top of iQiyi's nine major monetization capabilities, Change Plus is a key example of new efforts by iQiyi to innovate new monetization solutions and acquire members," Xianghua Yang, iQiyi's senior vice president said in a statement.
IQiyi's new service was created with aiBank, a joint venture of iQiyi's parent company Baidu Inc. (Nasdaq: BIDU) and China Citic Bank Corp. Ltd. AiBank launched in November for online banking and lending to individuals and small businesses with Baidu holding a 30 percent stake and China Citic owning the majority of the venture.
The chief technology officer of iQiyi, Wenfeng Liu, said, "IQiyi's analysis of big data provides accurate insights into the behavior and preferences of consumers, helping integrate finance services with our entertainment platform and expand our user base to include high-net-worth members."
In its announcement, iQiyi did not say whether the customers of Change Plus would enjoy the benefits of its joint membership program with the e-commerce platform JD.com Inc. (Nasdaq: JD), such as special pricing, coupons for free delivery, and exclusive customer service. A joint membership program between iQiyi and JD was announced last month and attracted over 1 million users in just one week. Under the agreement, users who purchase a premium membership with either company enjoy the benefits of both.
The stock of iQiyi ended the day up 5 percent at $34.51 per share after the company announced it was expanding into the banking business with Change Plus.
(Source: Thomson Reuters Eikon)