Youku, Tencent Employees Clash in Public, Injuring One; Copyright Competition a Possible Cause

He Tianjiao / Yicai

2017-05-13

(Yicai Global) May 13 -- Youku and Tencent Video, China's two big video sites, recently clashed at a public event staffers from both attended and a war of words and scuffle ensued.

Increasingly fierce competition for copyrights among video sites is stoking commercial conflicts.

Tencent stated on May 11 that a Youku employee injured a Tencent staffer, who demanded compensation. Youku rejoined that, "It was because Tencent's worker cursed our company first, so our employee hit back under impulse,” a Youku staff member told Yicai Global.

After some consolidation, China's domestic video site industry has embarked on an era of competition among the three giants. Behind the three major video sites (iQIYI.COM, Tencent Video, Youku) lie the three major Internet companies Baidu Inc. [NASDAQ:BIDU], Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. [NYSE:BABA], and Tencent Holdings Ltd. [HK:0700], and this causes endless struggles for video content copyrights involving huge sums. The result is massive and continuous industry-wide losses, with no one contender able to vanquish its rivals.

"Now we have to sell our kidneys to buy the copyright to a screenplay," the head of Tencent Video copyright once half joked.

The three major video sites spend large sums to copyright content, not wanting to lag behind. When Tencent Video wanted to buy the copyrights to several popular shows, but lost out to its opponent Youku, its executives inevitably felt depressed and under great pressure, media recently reported.

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