The mini-series, which centers around tangled mystery in a case of serial killer, is the first online drama crafted by Han Sanping, a prominent film director hailed as the Godfather of Chinese film industry. It also features a star-stud cast led by Qin Hao, one of China’s best-known film stars of art house productions.
The show has carved out a huge following since its premiere on iQIYI on September 6. The first eight episodes have been viewed more than 180 million times on iQIYI’s platform by September 22. It was given 8.5 out of 10 in rating, one of the highest scores for an online drama, by Douban, one of China’s leading entertainment rating sites.
Unlike conventional online dramas, Burning Ice, modelled on the mini-series format popular in the United States, has been hotly pursued by several distributors vying for exclusive rights to overseas distribution of the show.
iQIYI has been in recent years exploring opportunity to sell to overseas markets some of its hit dramas. Now several of its shows such as adventure dramas Thy Mystic Nine, Ghost Blows Out the Light-Finding Hubayi, and Tientsin Mystic, a crime show set in the era when China was ruled by the Nationalist Party, have been sold to overseas markets.
This serves as a clear testament to growing popularity of original shows from Chinese video platforms led by iQIYI and the clout of the Chinese brands in the global market.
According to iResearch, China’s leading Internet data analytic unit, iQIYI App covers 610 million mobile devices in July, 2017, only following Wechat of Tencent. The total time spent on iQIYI App was 6.9 billion hours during the month, which also makes the video streaming service provider the second in the ranking following Wechat.
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