Arnold Schwarzenegger will make a return to the big screen next year in the first instalment of a new Terminator trilogy backed by Tencent Pictures. The entertainment arm of the Shenzhen-based internet giant will work with US production firm Skydance Media to revive the Terminator movie franchise, according to Tencent Pictures CEO Cheng Wu. Tencent invested in Skydance earlier this year for an undisclosed sum, and as part of the arrangement will co-finance movies, TV shows and video game projects while lending their expertise to each other in their respective countries. China’s tech giants are engaged in intense competition to acquire and create content, whether movies, TV dramas or games, to attract and retain users across their various platforms. At stake is the world’s largest internet market with almost 800 million users, with the growing number of younger digital-native consumers more willing to spend on content. Chinese February box office sets new monthly world record US$1.57 billion The original Terminator movie hit the theatres in 1984, directed by James Cameron and starring Schwarzenegger – now aged 70 – as a cyborg assassin sent back in time to kill the future leader of human resistance against the rise of the machines. The movie spawned sequels, a television series, comic books and video games. Tencent also won the copyright to develop films, games and cartoon series for the late Chinese martial arts novelist Gu Long’s complete works for 10 years. Among the famous characters in Gu’s writings are Chu Liuxiang, a Robin Hood-like martial arts expert who uses a fan as a weapon, and Lu Xiaofeng, who can catch his enemies' weapons between his fingers. China Literature to step up book adaptations as content war heats up among tech giants According to iResearch, China’s digital literature market is booming as it served an audience of 360 million users last year. The research firm also estimated that more than 90 per cent of those readers were willing to watch films and TV series adapted from popular online literature.