Tencent Holdings has agreed to pay 1.8 billion yuan (US$284 million) to secure streaming rights for over 6,000 films and television series, as the Chinese social media and video gaming giant escalates efforts to retain the attention of online audiences, who are increasingly drawn to short video apps. Among the 6,332 films and TV shows that will become available on Tencent’s platforms in the next six years are Hong Kong director Ann Hui’s biopic The Golden Era , according to a filing by Beijing Jetsen Technology to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange on Monday. Jetsen, which is the exclusive distributor of the American sitcom Friends in China, and a co-producer of patriotic action blockbuster Wolf Warrior 2 , holds the largest share of copyright licences for films and TV shows in the country, according to the company. Can 1990s US hit Friends rescue China’s struggling video-streamers? The deal will give Tencent exclusive rights to broadcast the content involved, according to a report by Chinese media outlet Thepaper.cn on Tuesday, allowing the Shenzhen-based giant to entice viewers with unique content, or sub-license to rivals, such as Bilibili or ByteDance, operator of popular short video-sharing apps TikTok and Douyin. The Shenzhen bourse said on Tuesday it had sent an inquiry letter to Jetsen seeking details on whether the company gave exclusive streaming rights to Tencent. Jetsen previously said it is a major provider to video sites including ByteDance and Bilibili, which are both stepping up their spending to buy streaming rights. Tencent declined to comment on the report on Wednesday, while Jetsen did not respond to a request for comment. While exclusive licensing is a common global practice in the video streaming industry, China’s antitrust watchdog last year slapped a 500,000 yuan fine on Tencent’s music arm and ordered it to end exclusive music licensing deals with international record labels. Tencent, which has been a Jetsen client for three years, accounts for around 15 to 25 per cent of the Beijing company’s total revenue, Monday’s filing showed. Jetsen plans to partner with Tencent in new film releases and other content in the future, the firm told investors in the Shenzhen Stock Exchange’s online Q&A forum. Tencent restores Fight Club ending in China after netizens decry censorship The deal comes amid heated competition among video streaming service providers in China, which are struggling to attract users in the face of competition from the likes of Douyin. At stake is China’s multibillion-dollar streaming video industry, which had 944 million users as of last June, according to the state-run China Internet Network Information Centre. A number of long-form video sites – including Baidu’s iQiyi, Alibaba Group Holding’s Youku, and Tencent Video – banded together last year to accuse short video platforms of allowing users to upload video clips of copyrighted films and shows. Alibaba owns the South China Morning Post . Following a public call by film and television producers to crack down on copyright infringement, China’s National Copyright Administration said last April it would intensify its scrutiny and rectify any offending practices.