Bilibili claims Chinese first with global premiere of National Geographic documentary

Chinese first with global premiere of National Geographic documentary

Asian online video platform, Bilibili has partnered with National Geographic for a new wildlife documentary that takes audiences into the Chinese wilderness in "The Hidden Kingdoms of China”.

The series debuted in China last week, marking a new model and a first for the Eastern world as publishers like National Geographic tend to launch content in Western markets before heading to Chinese markets.

On its premiere, the documentary attracted 4.3m views and over 20,000 streams of text from Bilibili’s signature “bullet comments” which allows users to fire messages across the screen.

Bilibili has a track record of success with younger generations like Gen Z in distributing documentaries. Traditionally, these shows are overly educational and slower-paced, which tends to fail in resonating with younger audiences. Previous hit series on the platform include “The Story of Chaun’er”, which has been viewed over 153M times and generated 3.7M interactive bullet chats through the first two seasons.

“Bullet chats expand the viewing experience beyond the documentary content itself,” said Leo Zhang, the head of Bilibili’s intellectual property cooperation center.

The show is due to broadcast on National Geographic channels worldwide from December 3, available in 172 countries and 43 languages.

“When Bei Bei, the beloved US-born giant panda, departed the Smithsonian’s National Zoo for his new home in China on Nov. 19, a lot of people expressed their sadness and desire to see more pandas,” added Zhang. “There is a shared global interest in these charismatic bears. It’s the perfect timing to release the documentary, with the first episode showing touchingly intimate depictions of pandas in their native habitat.”

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