Baidu takes stake in Web partner

Expands cooperation with UiTV

BEIJING — Baidu, China’s top Web search site, is expanding its cooperation with partner UiTV, operator of the country’s largest Internet TV platform.

“Baidu will contribute assets related to the operation of Baidu Internet TV Channel to UiTV in exchange for an 8.3% stake in UiTV and US$15 million,” Baidu said in a statement.

Under the terms of the expanded cooperation, Baidu Internet TV Channel, where webizens can download movies and TV programs, will continue to be hosted at and operated by UiTV.

The platform works with most of China’s online movie and TV service and content providers, including TVB and Enlight Media, and has China’s largest database for authorized copyrighted movie and TV program downloads.

The channel operates an advertising-based revenue-sharing model that allows users to download copyrighted video content for free. Baidu’s independent director, James Ding, is chairman of UiTV and owns a minority interest in the company.

Xuyang Ren, Baidu’s veep of marketing and business development, said the transaction would “help UiTV become even more competitive in the Internet television market thanks to the expanded exposure and influence of this collaborative platform.”

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