China video site Youku raises $40 million for expansion

Youku will use the money to offer professional content and mobile video services

Chinese video-streaming Web site Youku.com has raised US$40 million in new investment as the site, part of a hugely popular genre in China, looks to expand and start turning a profit.

Youku raised the funds as part of a new financing round, bringing its total amount of private equity funding to $110 million, the company said Sunday. The company also has $10 million in venture debt funding and expects to bring in up to $40 million more in additional equity funding.

Youku has become the most popular YouTube-style Web site in China since its launch in 2006. The site, like some of its local rivals, has worked to expand its offerings from user-generated clips to include professional content like TV drama series and its new funding will be partly used to syndicate more professional video. Youku has already partnered with 1,500 license holders to offer professional content, it said.

Youku will also use the new funds to produce more Web-based content and for research and development on both PC and mobile projects, it said. Youku earlier this year launched a beta mobile portal to tap China's growing number of 3G mobile phone users and start gaining revenue from a new source. China reported having nearly 10 million 3G users at the end of October.

Online video is as popular among young users in China as it is in countries like the U.S., but China has a bigger potential audience. China had 338 million Internet users at the end of June, the most in any country, and two-thirds of those people used online video, according to a government survey. Youku is the most-visited online video site in China, according to researcher CR-Nielsen.

Youku has not said when it expects to become profitable, but its total revenue for this year will surpass 200 million yuan (US$29 million), it said.

Online video sites in China have been criticized for often hosting pirated video uploaded by users. Young Chinese sometimes turn to the sites to watch popular U.S. TV series like "Desperate Housewives" or "Ugly Betty." Youku says it uses a digital fingerprinting technology to help weed out pirated content.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags media streamingyoutube

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Owen Fletcher

IDG News Service

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?