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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Collins

Where are young Chinese people watching TV?

Updated: Jun 19, 2019

Traditional media are still very popular, but rarely reflect the important tensions that this generation of Chinese youth is going through. To watch the shows they care about most, to find the media that defines their generation, Chinese youth go online” (China Youthology Report, 2011).

With over 350 of the 500+ million Chinese Internet users watching online videos and a market that has reached USD 430 million in this year’s third quarter, clients often ask us what are the top online video channels in China.

Here’s a quick overview:


Often referred to as China’s YouTube, Youku made a smart move this summer by acquiring it’s no.1 competitor Tudou, combining 310 million unique users each week.

In the beginning of November, Youku Tudou Inc. signed an agreement with Sony Pictures Television to bring more than 300 new titles on to the Chinese platform. To this day, they remain the undiscussed leaders in this market.


Formerly known as Qiyi, this is the only video platform in China to focus exclusively on fully licensed, high-definition and professionally-produced content. Ranked first for average time spent online per user, iQiyi is not to be overlooked. As Chinese Internet giant – and no.1 search engine – Baidu understood earlier this month by acquiring a controlling stake in the video platform.


Unlike Baidu, Tencent, the second China’s Internet largest company (and the 1st by revenue), seems to have no plans of acquiring a new video platform at the moment and focus on their own: In a recent interview, Tencent’s video department’s GM Alex Liu stated he expects the company to become profitable within the next two years, thanks to the decreased cost of the content they provide.


For years Sohu’s social network users were trading American shows online, autonomously adding subtitles and gossiping on the cast. Demand got so high Sohu became the first video site to introduce copyrighted American TV plays into China, introducing show “The Big Bang Theory”. Rumor has it there is an imminent IPO plan set to take off  although with their foot set in so many shoes, Sohu seems likely to be struggling to most.

5.   PPTV

Ranked 1st for daily unique users (34 million), PPTV has been on the scene of China’s online video since February 2011, when it received USD250 Million in funding from Sofbank. By focusing on an exclusive content library including Korean dramas, Taiwanese shows and an extensive sports programming, PPTV manages to keep in the game, despite being a latecomer.

When Chinese youth become fans of culture online they want to bring the culture into their World and buy the style. With over 4.1 billion hours of collective streaming of videos just in August and 29.75 billion total videos watched, there is no doubt brands must target China’s web video sites.

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