China’s two biggest online movie ticketing operators are to merge, creating a single entity that controls 43 per cent of the market.

It has been announced that Maoyan, majority-owned by Chinese television and film company Enlight Media, is to join with Beijing Weiying Technology, which is backed by Tencent.

According to Bigdata Research, in the first quarter of 2017, Maoyan, Weiying and Alibaba-backed Taopiaopiao held 23 per cent, 20 per cent and 16 per cent market shares.

According to a statement Weiying will initially inject into Maoyan its online movie and performance ticketing units, valued at $600m (£450m). Weiying’s backer Tencent will invest $135m in the merged company via one of its investment funds.

After the completion of the deal, Enlight Media and its controlling entity Enlight Holdings will together own 50.79 per cent of the merged company. Earlier this month, Enlight Media and Enlight Holdings held a combined 77.13 per cent of Maoyan.

Weiying will own 27.59 per cent of the merged company, becoming the second largest shareholder. China’s online movie ticketing market had 129 million users with total online ticket sales of $5.6bn in 2016.

In July it was announced that Alibaba Pictures had increased its stake in Taopiaopiao from 87.6 per cent to 96.7 per cent in a $190m deal.

On Monday TEG announced the launch of new Chinese live events brand YunTek, in partnership with regional giant YongLe.

Image: Nicolas Raymond