Baidu to Enter Online Video Market

Chinese search engine Baidu Inc. is entering a field that is quickly becoming crowded and highly competitive in China’s online video market.

Baidu is launching a new business unit that it envisions will work on a similar business model to Hulu, an advertising-supported video site in the U.S. that has licensed, copyrighted content from several television broadcasters.

Hulu, which is not available in China, is jointly owned by NBC Universal, Walt Disney Co. (DIS), and News Corp. (NWS). News Corp. also owns The Wall Street Journal.

“As the country’s leading search engine, we’d like to grow in this space to meet our users’ needs. We see large volumes of our users searching for high-quality licensed videos and currently there are no video sites that can fulfill this need,” said Ren Xuyang, vice president of marketing and business development at Baidu.

But Baidu will be competing with many other players all eyeing the same market opportunity in China, such as online video sharing sites Youku.com and Tudou.com.

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