China's Tudou scores $57 mil in financing

IDG, Granite Global Ventures among Investors

SHANGHAI -- China's top video-sharing site, Tudou.com, announced $57 million in new financing Monday, confirming rumors previously circulating online.

Investors include IDG, Granite Global Ventures and General Catalyst, all of which have invested in the company before.

Previous funding rounds raised $500,000, $8.5 million, and $19 million, respectively. The new investment totals $85 million, the company said, adding that the money will be used to increase bandwidth and add servers.

The investment comes a time when China's video-sharing sites are under increasing regulatory pressure to conform to government censorship requirements. This month, Tudou joined a signed pledge promising the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television that it will use "self-discipline" to clean up the videos posted online by the users of its site.

"Hats off for being able to close this round during the harrowing run-in with SARFT, which some have described as a near-death situation for Tudou," Kaiser Kuo, director of digital strategy at Ogilvy China, said in a blog post.

The company claims it serves 100 million clips to more than 10 million users daily, and counts more than 60 million unique users per month.

Tudou competes with other online video sites such as China's Youku.com, and overseas ones such as Google's YouTube, which is occasionally blocked by Chinese authorities for hosting video clips of material it deems inappropriate, most recently footage of March protests in Tibet.
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