As China’s iQiyi shifts focus towards an older demographic in the age of artificial intelligence, akin to the country’s version of Netflix.

Chinese video streaming platform iQiyi, often dubbed the “Netflix” of China, is undergoing a strategic shift towards catering to the country’s aging population while leveraging artificial intelligence tools to enhance content production. As announced at the company’s annual conference by CEO and founder Gong Yu, iQiyi aims to enhance its offerings for users aged 40 and above, considering factors such as deteriorating eyesight due to increased screen time and the projected rise of China’s elderly population in the coming years.

The demographic shift in China is marked by a declining birth rate and increasing life expectancy, leading to a growing proportion of older individuals in the population. Gong highlighted the significance of each child in smaller families, signaling iQiyi’s commitment to improving content quality for children as well.

In addition to targeting an older audience, iQiyi is also embracing artificial intelligence technology to streamline content production processes. Liu Wenfeng, the company’s chief technology officer, showcased AI tools that enable rapid creation of virtual environments, reuse of virtual elements, and efficient analysis of novels for compelling storylines. Through AI-driven insights, iQiyi aims to enhance viewer engagement by understanding preferences and avoiding boring content sections.

The focus on AI extends to empowering creators, as Liu emphasized the role of generative AI in expanding creative possibilities. While specific details about iQiyi’s AI capabilities remain confidential, the company emphasizes collaboration with creators to explore the full potential of AI-driven content creation.

Looking ahead, iQiyi is also eyeing opportunities in international markets to sustain growth as the Chinese market matures. The company recently reported its first profitable year in 2023 since its U.S. listing in 2018, marking a significant turnaround from previous annual losses exceeding $1 billion. With a strong emphasis on original content, iQiyi now boasts over 50 in-house studios producing a wide array of shows, reflecting a shift towards self-produced content and reducing reliance on third-party providers.

Amidst a competitive landscape that includes major Chinese video platforms like Tencent Video, Alibaba-owned Youku, and Bilibili, iQiyi’s strategic focus on AI-powered content production and catering to an older demographic sets it apart in the rapidly evolving digital entertainment industry.

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