By Pei Li and Brenda Goh
HONGKONG/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Tencent Holdings <0700.HK> has launched an online comic book adaptation of “The Three-Body Problem”, China’s most popular science fiction novel – its first such global launch in multiple languages as it seeks to drum up overseas interest for Chinese content.
The comic series, based on Liu Cixin’s Hugo Award-winning book about a secret organisation that collaborates with hostile aliens to take over Earth, was made available on Tencent’s WeComics platform from Saturday in Chinese, English and Thai.
“We hope with great works like “The Three-Body Problem”, people from all over the world will like it and that our platform reaches more users, said Xu Zhiwei, a director at Tencent’s international comics and animation division.
Liu is one of China’s most celebrated science fiction writers. Another of his novels, “The Wandering Earth”, was adapted into a movie which became China’s third-highest grossing film.
Xu said Tencent counted the United States, France and Southeast Asia as major overseas markets and it planned to adapt more content into comics, animation and video games. It is also looking to acquire works from other countries such as Japan and South Korea.
Chinese tech firms have been racing to acquire and develop Chinese works and characters. The China market for comics and animated content is expected to be worth 216 billion yuan ($30 billion) annually by 2020, according to the EntGroup consultancy.
(Reporting by Pei Li and Brenda Goh; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)