The creation of the Chinese equivalent of Hulu is now officially underway. Providence Equity Partners, which invested $100 million in the original American video site, will give Baidu $50 million to create Qiyi.com. Qiyi should similarly offer premium content and rely on ad revenue.
Qiyi will indeed be a completely by-the-book operation, judging from an "About Us" section that’s in English. It explained, "Qiyi will strictly abide by copyright laws and administrative regulations, to take copyright protection measures to protect the legitimate rights and interests of copyright holders."
Then another paragraph later added, "Qiyi keeps making efforts . . . to spread the advanced socialism culture by undertaking its social responsibility as an outstanding corporate citizen. Qiyi is playing a positive role in developing a harmonious society."
Unfortunately, not a lot else is known about the project. The site’s official launch date hasn’t been publicized, and other details (relating to advertisers’ identities, hours of content available, and so forth) are also unavailable.
One important thing that’s been made clear, at least, is the fact that Baidu will retain majority ownership in Qiyi despite Providence’s large investment.