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China's largest Internet video companies move away from piracy

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 10 Dec 2013 20:49

China's largest Internet video companies move away from piracy Once havens for piracy, ranging from Asian soup operas to the latest Hollywood blockbuster, China's largest Internet video companies Youku, Baidu, Sohu and Tencent have all begun cracking down on the unauthorized video, instead opting for legal distribution and higher advertising revenue.
Youku, the largest Internet video site in China at 32 percent market share, says it now spends a billion yuan ($164 million) on legal distribution licenses so they can play popular content like "The Walking Dead." The move is expected to drive the company to its first ever quarterly profit.

The company employs at least a dozen employees who search specifically for pirated content, although they have run into some challenges. "The biggest challenge is that there are more new ways to pirate video as the technology develops," Lu Changjun, the head of Youku Tudou's Internet police squad (via Reuters).

Baidu, Tencent and Sohu all said they never ignored pirated material or willfully uploaded such content, but each admitted that they lost copyright infringement suits filed by Chinese content creators.

As technology to combat piracy has evolved, the company's revenue and profits have grown. The online video market in the nation is expected to grow over 30 percent this year, with revenues reaching 12.3 billion yuan ($2 billion).

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