(Tech in Asia, Jul 09, 2013) Baidu’s (NASDAQ:BIDU - News) video streaming site iQiyi – already boosted by the recent $370 million acquisition of a rival - might be about to invade China’s sitting rooms. According to industry rumors led on by comments from iQiyi CTO Alvin Xing, the Hulu-like site will release a TV product in August.
That could be a smart TV or a set-top box. Or it could be both – a strategy already employed by rival site LeTV with its SuperTV (in 39-inch and 60-inch models) and its Apple TV-esque LeTV Box that connects to any other TV. LeTV has been aggressive with its hardware push after some useful funding last year from Beijing-based Innovation Works.
QQ Tech believes Baidu has already set up an iQiyi web TV department within the company and that it has secured the necessary media operating licenses from Chinese authorities.
While iQiyi and rival sites are seeing growing mobile traffic – iQiyi has 200 million monthly mobile viewers - it seems to be a growing trend for Chinese video sites to be focusing not just on tiny screens but also on the biggest screen in the house. Anything to avoid losing users as people move away from laptops and PCs.
I got a chance to play with a LeTV Box connected to a random widescreen TV (pictured above) last month. It does indeed make for a great way of viewing streamed TV series and movies, which are now a staple of China’s top video sites as they battle to buy the rights to the films and drama serials that young Chinese want to watch.
(source:Tech in Asia)