This post was contributed by Josh Fenn. 

PPTV and WASU, two of the most popular internet video-on-demand services in China, announced  plans to form a strategic partnership and enter the internet TV space at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. During the announcement, WASU president Mr. Qiang Cao and PPTV CEO Dr. Vincent Tao sang the benefits of their companies’ camaraderie. According to them, social networking, video sharing, online shopping, and more are all in the cards for their customers in China. Interaction will be a key aspect of their foray into internet TV; rather than passively watching shows, people will engage with an online community much like they do on computers. PPTV and WASU currently operate on the software development side of things, and have no ostensible plans to produce consumer hardware – TV or otherwise.

Online TV enjoys widespread popularity in China, due in equal parts to its speedy person-to-person streaming within the country and to its cornucopia of foreign shows that aren’t available through state-run TV stations. Indeed, Chinese TV programs are often seen as playing second fiddle to their more liberal and high-budget western counterparts. However, in an effort to enforce international copyright laws, PPTV, WASU, PPStream, and other online TV services have recently removed many foreign shows and movies from their libraries. Thus, the program lineup of PPTV and WASU’s partnership could very well focus on domestic Chinese shows and movies.

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