Chinese search giant Baidu announced today that its online video unit Baidu Video is going to run its business independently. Hu Hao, former manager of Baidu’s video business department, has been appointed as CEO of the new subsidiary.
Along with the news, the new company is completing a 1 billion RMB ($USD155 million) investment led by New Culture Media with participation of Zeus Entertainment and SAIF Partners. The investors will not only bring capital support, but also open up their IP and operation resources to the new spinoff, the company said in a statement.
As the first major move following the spin-off, Baidu Video launched a 500 million RMB investment program earmarked for professionally generated content (PGC) development as the production model of Chinese video sharing sites swings form user-generated content to professionally generated content. The capital will go towards supporting high-quality professional content and production teams, the company added.
Currently, the platform claims to have accumulated over 580 million videos and over 300 million mobile users, cooperating with thousands of PGC producing institutions.
The PGC-focused subsidiary, Baidu-backed online video streaming site iQIYI and Nuomi, Baidu’s group-buying service that has a hand in offline entertainment will form three prominent parts in Baidu’s culture and entertainment business pipeline.
In order to release capital pressure and increase efficiency, Baidu announced an ‘Aircraft Carrier’ project in June 2015, opening up a series of businesses for outside investment. Baidu Video’s funding is the latest move to boost this program. Other businesses that have received outside funding include company’s food delivery service Baidu Waimai, after school tutoring platform Zuoyebang and Baidu Literature.