11 Comments

Summary:

There’s a rumor going around that Google is investing in a Chinese P2P startup called Xunlei (or Thunder). Xunlei is reported to have between 75 million to 100 million downloads of its software, and has raised previous funding from Morningside and IDG Ventures. The rumor is […]

There’s a rumor going around that Google is investing in a Chinese P2P startup called Xunlei (or Thunder). Xunlei is reported to have between 75 million to 100 million downloads of its software, and has raised previous funding from Morningside and IDG Ventures. The rumor is that Google, along with Ceyuan Ventures, is participating in Xunlei’s next round of funding, and a source says that the pre-money valuation is around $100 million.

We haven’t been able to confirm this planned investment with the companies, but have heard this from three different sources in China and recently read the rumor here, too. We contacted Google and they naturally said “we don’t comment on speculation or rumors.” Ceyuan Ventures and Xunlei didn’t get back to us.

A source tells us that Xunlei’s software is getting an average of 140,000 downloads per day and the company has around 200 employees. The source also says that the company is working with television stations to do P2P downloads of television content that they attach ads to, and content partners include Phoenix TV and Hunan Satellite TV. There’s even a rumor from site ChinaByte that the company plans to partner with Horizon Media Group’s mobile community website 139.com to release an IM service soon.
Last week we emailed the guys at Pacific Epoch, a research company that looks at all things related to China and the Internet, to learn more about the startup. General Manager at Pacific Epoch Sage Brennan said:

Xunlei (“Thunder,” in English) has long been a popular download accelerator, for pulling in large files like video and e-magazines. Xunlei has recently leveraged Thunder (the application) to build a content-based platform, which offers and promotes video, audio, magazines, applications and other content categories. They are basically gunning for mop.com, toodou.com and all of China’s other big content players. I suppose the advantage is in Thunder’s background in serving up large files, as opposed to the UGC-built sites that have limited technology support for serving up, say, a feature-length film.

Brennan says about the Chinese Internet content market:

The portal business appears to be healthy and growing: Chinese Internet users are pounding away at anything that resembles entertainment, and all of the content sites are seeing tremendous growth as a result. This is still an ad-supported content play, which carries risk in China, where the online ads market is still approaching adolescence.

If anyone has any more details about Xunlei or the rumor that Google is planning to invest in them, contact us, or leave comments.

You’re subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings

  1. Seems like Google has already been working with them, on the download page, Google Toolbar is an opt-out.

    http://my.xunlei.com/setup.htm

  2. Sounds like a good idea, but I think Google would be making a stupid decision to invest in this company, because the company could easily be subject to Chinese regulations should they begin broadcasting content that is in violation of China’s Media Policy which bars criticism or religious content from being displayed.

  3. Unrumor the rumors Thursday, December 7, 2006

    Google and Ceyuan Vetures to Invest in Chinese P2P Startup Xunlei?…

    GigaOM suggested Google\’s investment on the Chinese P2P Startup which developed Thunder, a popular P2P software downloaded about 100 million times…

  4. Google and the RIA head to head.
    This should be a good battle of resources.
    Hope they give the RIAA a taste of their own medicine.
    Google must be able to hire some good lawyers.

  5. Don’t get all the hype around DRM’d p2p download. I already get instant download of the most popular available films from my cable operator – which prob represents 90% of current demand. It’s a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. Now, p2p streaming – that’s interesting.

  6. Don’t get all the hype around DRM’d p2p download. I already get instant download of the most popular available films from my cable operator – which prob represents 90% of current demand. It’s a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. Now, p2p streaming – that’s interesting.

  7. The english version of xunlei download manager is Gigaget.

    Kaifu Li the google China ceo, who made the decision to invest in xunlei is in trouble now and are expected to resign soon.

  8. NewTeeVee Asia’s P2P Boom « Saturday, August 25, 2007

    [...] and downloads based in mainland China. Some of them have a more corporate background, like the Google-funded BitTorrent client maker Xunlei or its competitor QQ. Others are more appealing to the non-profit [...]

  9. Venice Beta, Xunlei and the rise of P2P TV « Pete’s View Wednesday, April 2, 2008

    [...] 13, 2006 by Peter Childs So Venice Project is now in beta Earlier this week GigaOm speculated about Googles’ potential investment in Chinese P2P television company [...]

  10. Chinese P2P Companies Rake in Big Bucks « NewTeeVee Sunday, July 20, 2008

    [...] Xunlei had previously secured a total of $30 million in funding, with an estimated $5 million coming out of Google’s check book. An IPO is planed for later this year, according to Pacific Epoch.Xunlei isn’t the only [...]

Comments have been disabled for this post