Cloud provider Xunlei discards dubious past, reveals partnership with Youku

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(Image credit: Xunlei)

Cloud provider Xunlei, once notorious for piracy complaints over its file sharing services, recently announced that it is an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) provider for popular streaming platform Youku.

During its first quarter earnings call on Monday, Xunlei CEO Chen Lei said that enterprise service StellarCloud provides IaaS solutions for Youku’s “analog video-streaming platforms.” He added that a partnership with an unnamed enterprise client is helping the company to identify and aggregate “redundant computing sources from business class networking devices” in order to expand bandwidth for shared cloud computing services.

According to Chen, “cloud computing and IVAS business remain our long-term growth driver.” Of those services, shared cloud computing is a “key driver.”

Overall revenue for the company in the first quarter of $41.3 million declined 2.3% sequentially, which CFO Eric Zhou attributed to a “significant” slide in income from livestreaming over the Chinese New Year period. The company significantly narrowed losses on a sequential basis to $8.6 million from $32.4 million, compared with profits of $8.0 million from the same quarter a year earlier.

The 16-year-old company has seen a remarkable transformation from its origins as a peer-to-peer file sharing and download service provider.

In 2014 it began pivoting towards cloud, and in 2015 released an enterprise product that evolved into StellarCloud, according to PingWest (in Chinese). Currently the service provides edge computing, functional computing, and shared content delivery network (CDN) solutions. That makes it a valuable partner for content platforms including Baidu’s iQiyi, smartphone brand Xiaomi (which is also a Xunlei shareholder), anime streaming site Bilibili, and dating app Momo.

The company has also expanded into blockchain. Last May, it launched a platform called ThunderChain which provides infrastructure solutions to help scale projects in the emerging field.

In what might be considered a nod to its roots, the company also previously announced a partnership with the Copyright Protection Center of China to create a blockchain solution in order to identify digital copyrights.