Marvel and Chinese Company NetEase Announce an Expanded Collaboration
Marvel Entertainment has been making moves to expand their footprint in China. The company has announced they’re expanding their partnership with NetEase to do so. The companies will create original content including games, tv shows, and comics based on Marvel’s characters. The focus is the Chinese market and beyond.
In 2017, NetEase announced a deal with Marvel to develop a comic based on a Chinese superhero. In addition, they worked to release 12 comics online based on Spider-Man, Captain America, Guardians of the Galaxy, and more. This new deal is to create original content beyond the Chinese superhero.
NetEase is an entertainment and technology company in China with its hands in games, education, music, and ecommerce. Founded in 1997, the company operates PC and movile games, advertising, email, and e-commerce services in China. NetEase is the largest provider of free email services in China with more than 940 million users.
They’re the publisher of Blizzard’s World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, Overwatch, Hearthstone, and more in China. The company is currently working with Kabam to bring Marvel Contest of Champions to the Chinese market. They’ll also be launching the first official Pokemon game in China.
Marvel has made it a priority to expand their presence in Asia. In 2010, the publisher promoted C.B. Cebulski to Senior Vice President, Creator & Content Development of Marvel Entertainment with a focus on global expansion. During his time, the comic company worked on deals with Kodansha in Japan, webcomics platform Daum in Korea and content creator NetEase in China, bringing Marvel to Asian markets through localized stories and characters.
The comic company recently took Asian characters that debuted in the video game MARVEL Future Fight and debuted them as part of Marvel comic continuity in War of the Realms: New Agents of Atlas. Marvel Studios has been criticized for their willingness to bend to the will of China’s strict government including a special edit of Iron Man 3 for the country and speculation that Doctor Strange‘s Ancient One was changed so as to not anger Chinese censors which led to other protests. China’s market has become vital in today’s global business with their box office often making or breaking a films success.