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Baidu’s Iqiyi overtakes Youku as China’s most popular video service

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Move over, Youku: The site that has long been called China’s YouTube just got dethroned by its competitor Iqiyi as the country’s most popular video service. Iqiyi, which is owned by the Chinese internet giant Baidu, attracted 94 million monthly active users in January, compared to Youku’s(S YOKU) 83.5 million, according to new numbers from iResearch.

chinese online video stats january 2014
Monthly active users for China’s top video sites in January. All numbers in multiples of 10,000. Source: iResearch.

Iqiyi was launched in 2010 with investments from both Baidu and Providence Equity Partners. Baidu bought out Providence in 2012,  and went on to acquire PPStream in 2013. 

The race for the top spot comes at a time of overall consolidation in the Chinese video market, which is largely driven by rising licensing costs for professional content. Late last year, China’s retail giant Suning and the Hony investment group acquired PPTV for $420 million.

2 Responses to “Baidu’s Iqiyi overtakes Youku as China’s most popular video service”

  1. Eduardo Sobral Guilherme

    Deffinitely Baidu is growing. Now it’s the Video niche. Baidu is china’s Google and can learn from Google’s mistakes (Currently Baidu has a “Google”, an “Adwords”, a “Wikipedia”, a “Youtube” and I believe they also have shares in a social network… Wherever there is money to be made they push their product on their search engine and occupy that niche (more or less what google has been doing it this Knowledge graph).

  2. Baidu is a machine. They have really been impressive the past few years. I felt like Yandex would be the thorn in Google’s side, but Baidu is wquickly rising up the ranks. Their mobile products are really interesting. I like that there are global players coming on scene to push innovation and competition. Even if the user base is tiny in the U.S. for some of these global brands, it certainly provides options and maybe even causes a little concern to keep our own brands moving.