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Youku - Youku Movies
Chinese Version of Youtube
As many of my readers will know, I am quite fond of Asian culture and I recently discovered Youku which is the leading video sharing site in China.
Since Youtube is blocked in many locations in China, Youku receives 35 million viewers a day and has many features which Youtube does not. China is renowned for a lack of copyright laws, therefore many users are able to log in and post/view entire movies without licensing.
Youku does pay substantial licensing fees to feature particular movies and does take steps to ban particular I.P addresses from logging in and uploading copyrighted material.
All Youku movies have Chinese subtitles most Chinese citizens prefer to log on to the site rather than switch on their television sets, if you want to visit the Youku English version all you need to do is use the Google Chrome browser and a translate tool will automatically drop down under the address bar.
Youku and Tudou
You may have heard of Tudou as a popular video site in China in the past, however, if Google keyword tool is any indication of popularity you can see that Youku receives 1.5 million Global searches a month whereas Tudou only receives 823,000.
In 2010 Youku and Tudou signed an agreement to swap various soap opera videos with each other to help them both stay as the 2 leading video sites in China, however, as of 2012 their partnership has broken down with both sites accusing each other of re-posting content that wasn't part of the deal.
Victor Koo - Founder
Victor Koo seen in the video below is the founder of Youku and was formerly president of Sohu.com, Sohu is a large Chinese search engine with its offices based in Beijing, the capital.
Victor raised funds to help the launch of Youku in December 2006 with a business venture called 1Verge who provided wireless and internet media.
Youku also receives large funding from investers and advertisers, some examples are Farrallon Capital investment advisors based in San Francisco, Brookside Ventures in Wisconsin and Sutterhill Ventures in California.
Depending on legal battles between Youku and Tudou over losses regarding the unauthorized use of each others content each companies site, the victor is likely to become the dominating earner. With Youku already being the most popular site according to Alexa and the court decisions on copyrighted internet content is likely to be swayed by political interception, it is my belief that Youku will emerge as number 1.