Baidu, being China’s biggest Search Market Giant recently announced its plans to introduce a new video channel website which will provide copyright video content to its Chinese internet users. With the search market share of 63%, Baidu is China’s largest Search Engine player.
Chinese government blocks U.S. Web sites based on user-generated content, which include some famous websites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube , mainly for political reasons. Google’s YouTube still being banned in China, this would be a brilliant business plan for Baidu which already has the strongest hold over China’s Web World.
Baidu said it has seen growing demand for video content on its search engine. Both Baidu and Google already offer Chinese users a video search feature that finds clips from other sites. Summuing up to the video market, China’s online video market was worth 162 million yuan ($23.73 million) in the third quarter .
Baidu will air ad-supported movies, TV series, sporting events, animation and other content, creating a service that is could be as huge as Hulu. Yu Gong – who was most recently president and COO of China Mobile’s 12580 division and is formerly Sohu.com’s COO – has been hired to head up the company.
U.S.-based Providence Equity Partners (an investor in Hulu) and Baidu will team up to set up an online video channel in China, this channel would provide licensed content in this joint venture. Many local websites reported the joint venture company has received about $60 million in private equity funds and Baidu will invest about $10 million into the firm.
Baidu is also an investor in PPLive, a Chinese website that streams licensed movies and video for free.
It was not clear if the new video channel would include online user-generated content, if anything of that is allowed the Great Firewall of China is bound to be upset.