19 Aug 2009 09:53

Chinese portal launches for-pay video site

Shanghai. August 18. INTERFAX-CHINA - Leading Chinese video sharing portal 56.com launched China's first video Web site that charges its users on Aug. 18.

"The new pay and watch site, kankan.56.com, will allow members to share and sell videos, which follows a business model similar to customer-to-customer (C2C) e-commerce sites like Taobao.com," Wang Jianjun, chief executive officer (CEO) of 56.com, said at a press conference.

Members will be able to purchase and download video content directly from other members via the new site. Online payment systems like Taobao.com's Alipay and China UnionPay will be integrated onto the site, according to Wang.

Users will be required to register as members with the site prior to making any video exchanges, in order to ensure that uploaded content is compliant with government content censorship policies. The Web site will charge members a commission fee equaling 10 percent of any earnings generated from video uploads onto the site.

"Relying solely on advertising will not support sustainable growth for our site. As Chinese Internet users are becoming more accustomed to paying for content, we believe that for-pay video sites have a bright future," Zhou Juan, founder and chief operation officer of 56.com, said. According to Zhou, 56.com will continue to provide a platform for free online video sharing.

Founded in 2005 and headquartered in Beijing, 56.com is China's first video sharing site. There are currently approximately 50 million registered users and over 80 million free videos available on the Web site.

The company launched a new Shanghai subsidiary on Aug. 18 to manage the Web site's marketing and sales activities, while its Guangzhou subsidiary will operate the Kankan Web site.

According to Pan Conglin, general manager of 56.com's Shanghai subsidiary, 56.com has partnered with China's three telecom operators to offer video sharing via mobile Internet.