Youku Tudou, Sohu Video, Tencent Video, LeTV, the MPAA, Wanda Films, Enlight Media and Huayi Brothers are among the partners in the Joint Action Against Online Video Piracy in China. The aim of the effort is to fight online video infringement on PCs and mobile devices in the massive country where illegal access to content is rampant. “Since 2009, the video industry is facing a more severe anti-piracy situation,” Sohu CEO Charles Zhang said at a media event in Beijing today. “Especially when those big Internet companies with resource advantages participate in large-scale piracy. We cannot keep competing because where thieves and robbers are having their way, law-abiding companies cannot survive.” Reps from Sony, Warner Bros, Disney and Paramount also attended the media event. It was further announced there that some Chinese Internet companies have filed lawsuits against search engine Baidu and software company QVOD for what they say are copyright violations, and are seeking $49.2M in damages.
The companies said today that Baidu, China’s answer to Google, “is distributing content without authorization while engaging in activities that are beyond the scope of a search engine.” Users are “able to access content hosted on third party sites” and Baidu is “providing access to rogue video sites that host pirated content and do not have … Read More »
In its biggest deal to date, Baidu, China’s answer to Google, has signed a memorandum of understanding to acquire app store 91 Wireless for $1.9B. Beijing-based Baidu will pay $1.09B for the majority 57.41% stake that’s held by Hong Kong-listed online gaming company NetDragon, and will acquire the remaining stock from minority shareholders on similar terms. Started in 2007, 91 Wireless develops and operates two leading apps distribution platforms in China as well as other smartphone products. To date, over 10 billion apps have been downloaded through the 91 Smartphone Apps Marketplaces. Baidu is seeking a bigger piece of the growing mobile Internet market. It’s the dominant search engine with more than 80% of desktop searches in China at end March, according to Bloomberg data. However, it lost ground in the mobile search area in the past year after the launch of rival service Qihoo 360. Also last year, rivals Youku and Tudou merged in a $1B deal that created the leader in online TV, and Internet giant Alibaba spent $586M to acquire an 18% stake in Weibo, China’s version of Twitter. Baidu’s last major acquisition was its May purchase of online video service PPS for $370M.
Baidu, China’s answer to Google, has acquired the online video business of web-based broadcaster PPS for $370M. PPS’ online video business, which includes Asian and American programming, will be folded into Baidu’s TV and and movie portal iQiyi. The NASDAQ-traded Baidu said the combined entity will be China’s largest online video platform by number of mobile users and viewing time. The deal is part of ongoing consolidation in China’s vast online entertainment market where video sites compete with traditional broadcasters. Last year, rivals Youku and Tudou merged in a $1B deal that created the leader in online TV, and last month, Internet giant Alibaba spent $586M to acquire an 18% stake in Weibo, China’s version of Twitter. The PPS deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2013.