NEW YORK, June 24 (Xinhua) -- China's leading online video-streaming service iQIYI saw its shares rising throughout the day, after it announced Monday the number of its subscribers exceeded 100 million in aggregate.
The company's stock price rallied nearly 1.4 percent to 18.4 U.S. dollars per share around market close. The often-called equivalent of Netflix in China has been valued at over 13.3 billion dollars as of Monday.
Calling the growth "a significant milestone," Yu Gong, founder, director and CEO of iQIYI, credited the company's subscription business model, which features original content and innovative AI technology.
The model has enabled iQIYI to build "a massive user base" and develop "a diversified monetization model," including membership services, online advertising services, content distribution, live broadcasting and online games.
The CEO pointed out that iQIYI has also benefited from the rapid evolvement of China's entertainment industry and technologies, which has led to Chinese consumers "increasingly willing to pay for high-quality content."
The online entertainment firm has been facing fierce competition in the domestic video-streaming market.
Aside from their rollout of innovative original content, industrial heavyweights, like Tencent Video and Alibaba-backed Youku, and unicorn rivals, such as Bilibili and TikTok, have alike strived to build greater overseas presence to energize growth.
Tencent launched its first overseas video streaming service called WeTV in Thailand on June 14, in an effort to promote original Chinese content and content created with local partners.
The launch came following Tencent's music streaming service JOOX and the mobile version of PUBG games released in Thailand.
On June 17, iQIYI announced a strategic partnership in content distribution with Malaysia's biggest pay-television service provider Astro.
Under the new partnership, a list of new programs of iQIYI will be brought to the Malaysian market through Astro, including The Rap of China 2019 and live-action web television series Sword Dynasty.
In recent years, iQIYI has distribted an array of original works, such as TV series Story of Yanxi Palace and street dance reality show Hot-Blood Dance Crew.
In 2018, Story of Yanxi Palace was distributed to over 90 countries and regions after making a huge sensation domestically, and became the most frequently searched TV drama on Google in 2018.