Kakao today announced that it partnered with Huace Group, China’s number one comprehensive film and TV media group, to bring five of its popular Daum Webtoon titles to the screens in China. Kakao and Huace group signed deals for four of its webtoons, with one additional title to follow imminently. Daum Webtoon is Kakao’s web comic platform which first introduced the concept and format of ‘webtoons’ in 2003. Since then, it has gained a solid reputation for offering titles with strong storylines and fully-formed characters.
Through this deal, select Daum Webtoon titles will be reproduced into movies, TV dramas or web dramas and distributed across China. The titles include Girl in the Mirror, Help! Breakup Ghost, Just One Shot, Cashero, and My Boss Dies Once a Day. All are proven hits in Korea, and are expected to appeal to Chinese fans thanks to their engaging, unique storylines and high adaptability to the Chinese culture.
Huace Group is a major media group which produces more than 1,000 TV dramas per year in China alone. In 2014 it added a movie production arm Huace Film, to its portfolio to expand its reach and influence in the film business. This deal provides Huace with valuable high quality stories that can be produced into different forms, while providing Kakao with an opportunity to help its authors reach fans across mainland China.
Daum Webtoon’s impressive resume of delivering high quality, blockbuster content helped many of Daum Webtoon’s titles to be reproduced into secondary content, mainly to big screens. Webtoon-to-film adaptations such as “Moss (Iggi)” and “Secretly, Greatly” have lead to box office records, and the hottest TV drama of 2014 “Misaeng (Incomplete Life)” helped stir up a new wave in the Korean webtoon market. Webtoon titles stated being recognized for its value as intellectual property that can be spun into secondary markets including movies, TV series, web dramas, paperback publications and even character items.
In addition to its vertical expansion, Daum Webtoon has been furthering its influence in the global market, helping its talented artists reach a larger global audience. Today, 50 titles, approximately 10% of the platform’s 500 official titles, are now available in the US and in China with the support from Kakao.
Iggy Park, head of Kakao’s Daum Webtoon team said “It is a great pleasure to help our authors reach out to their current and potential fans in China through the screens” and continued, “This marks a meaningful beginning of our effort to bring powerful webtoon content to the global screens.”
Jon Chiew, Head of Global Business at Huace Films said “Leveraging the best of our capabilities and infrastructure, we are confident that we can bring out the utmost value from each of the five titles” and continued “As a leader in the field of cultural exchange, we will continue to discover and introduce more valuable content to the Chinese viewers.”