TOKYO – Online TV platform Viki, which streams shows with crowd-sourced subtitles, is partnering with China’s Baidu in a deal that will bring hundreds of hours of translated programming to users of the Internet video search giant.
Singapore-based Viki will deliver content including movies, dramas, comedies, anime from the U.S., UK, Taiwan, Korea, Japan and 10 other countries and regions, subbed in Chinese and English, to Baidu’s 237 million users, through PCs and mobile devices.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Baidu, one of the premier Internet brands in the world, to bring the best of global TV to Chinese viewers,” Razmig Hovaghimian, CEO and co-founder of Viki, wrote in a statement. “We’re also opening up Chinese content including dramas, web movies and series to the rest of the world, breaking down barriers between great entertainment and fans everywhere.”
Baidu, which has around 70 percent share of video search in the huge Chinese market, continues to face accusations of hosting pirated content, and this month was found guilty of streaming unlicensed TV shows.
“Chinese video sites do have issues with copyright, but they are going through the process of cleaning up piracy, and have made a lot of progress in recent years,” Hovaghimian told The Hollywood Reporter at the Asian Television Forum (ATF) in Singapore earlier in December.
Viki was bought by Japanese ecommerce heavyweight Rakuten in September for $200 million.