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Baidu announced on Wednesday that it is creating an independent company to offer premium online videos to Chinese Internet users. The new entity is designed to work with content providers to supply copyrighted material, including movies, TV shows, sports, and animation, and it will generate its revenue through advertisements.
More from cnet here [news.cnet.com].
Google's YouTube is often blocked in China, so they won't have a strong leg to stand on when competing with Baidu in the video market in China. This is a big move ahead for Baidu in the China market.
Google's YouTube is often blocked in China...
I was thinking along the same lines.
But... What western studio/distributor is going to sign with Baidu for content distribution? As you also mentioned, they don't have a great track record for dealing with copyright holders. And China's legal system is, "unpredictable", to put it mildly.
Baidu has done a great job of "Knowing their market" in a way that Google can't seem to grasp.
China is it's own little world (actually, big world consider it's 1/4 of the world pop), Baidu just needs to understand that corner of the world, and it keeps on being successful.