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Crunchyroll Appoints Julian Lai-Hung to Head Japan and Asia-Pacific Business Development

String of new executive hires comes on the heels of recent partnership with HBO Max and acquisition of VIZ Media Group.

Crunchyroll has announced the appointment of Julian Lai-Hung as head of content strategy and business development focused on Japan and Asia-Pacific. This comes on the heels of the company’s recent partnership with HBO Max and the hiring of a string of new executives, including Alden Budill as head of global partnerships and content strategy, Terry Li as head of 360 and general manager of Crunchyroll Games and John Easum as the head of Crunchyroll EMEA which follows the acquisition of VIZ Media Europe Group.

Lai-Hung’s career in video streaming spans original production, licensing, and acquisition. At Netflix he helped launch the streaming platform in Japan and oversaw the global anime category as director of content and anime in the region while also serving as an executive producer and dealmaker across a number of titles including Terrace House Aloha State, Million Yen Women, Godzilla: Monster Planet, Kuromukuro, and Blazing Transfer Students. Lai-Hung also led a team at Warner Bros. as VP of international digital distribution and global sales.

"We unveiled Crunchyroll Originals earlier this year as a complement to our robust anime library, with the goal of exciting our existing fans while inviting the anime-curious into our vibrant community,” commented Crunchyroll head of global partnerships and content strategy, Alden Budill. “Given Julian’s deep expertise and passion for the medium, he’s the perfect addition to our team to progress our efforts to identify new partnerships and creative opportunities."

Based in Tokyo, Lai-Hung will focus on building Crunchyroll’s content strategy, driving the originals initiative and identifying new business opportunities with existing and new partners.

“I have a deep respect for anime creators, and I am thrilled to be joining the biggest anime brand on the planet,” remarked Lai-Hung. “I can’t wait to work with our partners in Japan to keep delighting fans across the globe.”

Lai-Hung was also a fellow at venture investment firm Entrepreneur First and founded an AI/Blockchain startup that built a large anime merchandise search engine.

Earlier this year, Crunchyroll launched Crunchyroll Originals, the brand’s first foray into original content. The inaugural slate includes eight series spanning across genres including Tower of God, based on the popular WEBTOON, which is currently streaming on Crunchyroll to fans outside of Asia.

Source: Crunchyroll