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Youku Inc.
Screenshot of Youku home page
Type Public (NYSE: YOKU)
Founded March 2003 (2003-03)
Headquarters Beijing, China[1][2]
Founder(s) Victor Koo
Industry Internet
Services Online services
Revenue US$ 649.5 million (2014)[3]
Employees 2,104[4]
Slogan(s) "The World is Watching"
Website .com.youkuwww
Alexa rank negative increase 79 (April 2014)[5]
Type of site Video hosting service
Registration Optional
(required to upload and/or comment on videos)
Available in Chinese
Launched December 21, 2003 (2003-12-21)
Current status Active

Youku Inc., formerly Inc.,[2][6] doing business as Youku (simplified Chinese: 优酷; traditional Chinese: 優酷; pinyin: yōukù; literally: "excellent (and) cool"),[7] is a video hosting service based in China.

Youku has its headquarters on the fifth floor of Sinosteel Plaza (S: 中钢国际广场, T: 中鋼國際廣場, P: Zhōnggāng Guójì Guǎngchǎng) in Haidian District, Beijing.[8][9]

On March 12, 2012, Youku reached an agreement to acquire Tudou in a stock-for-stock transaction, the new entity being named Youku Tudou Inc.[10] It has more than 500 million active users.[11]


Youku was founded by Victor Koo (T: 古永鏘 Koo YungCiang),[12][13] former President of Chinese Internet portal Sohu. Initial funding for the site came from 1Verge, a fund raised by Koo. A beta version of the site was launched with limited geographic reach in June 2006, and the website was formally launched in December 2006. In 2007, the company received $25 million in funding from venture capitalists.[14] In December 2009, the company announced that it had raised a total of $110 million in private equity funding. Major investors include Brookside (Bain) Capital, Sutter Hill Ventures, Maverick Capital, and Chengwei Ventures.[15]

The company initially emphasized user-generated content but has since shifted its focus to professionally produced videos licensed from over 1,500 content partners.[15]

As of January 2010, was ranked #1 in the Chinese Internet video sector according to Internet metrics provider CR-Nielsen,[16] (keeping in mind that YouTube is banned in China). In 2008, Youku partnered with Myspace in China.[17] Later that year, Youku became the sole online video provider embedded in the China Edition of popular web browser Mozilla Firefox.[18]

In January 2010, Youku and competitor Tudou announced the creation of a video broadcasting exchange network, under which Youku and Tudou will cross-license professionally produced video content.[19]

Youku recorded gross revenues of 200 million RMB in 2009.[20]

On December 8, 2010, Youku was listed at the New York Stock Exchange for its first time. The stock closed at $33.44 on its first day of trading giving the company a market capitalization of approximately $3.3 billion. For the first 9 months of 2010 Youku reported revenue of $35.1 million and recorded a loss of $25 million during this period. seems to have no relation to the Chinese domain

Victor Koo was once an employee of Bain & Company, one of the most prominent management consulting firms in the world. [21]


Youku permits users to upload videos of arbitrary length. Youku has partnered with over 1,500 license holders, including television stations, distributors, and film and TV production companies in China that regularly upload media content on the site.

Youku allows the Government of China to check for inappropriate or offensive videos (see Internet censorship in the People's Republic of China).

Youku's video library includes many full-length films and TV episodes. Viewers from around the world can see these films on Youku for free, though often with Chinese subtitles. Other popular sites such as YouTube cannot display this content because of copyright restrictions, but these laws either do not exist in China or are poorly enforced, enabling Youku to broadcast copyrighted content from their website without license. In January 2010, Youku implemented a digital fingerprinting technology intended to eliminate copyright infringing content on the site.

Some Youku videos are blocked to international IP addresses because of licensing issues.


On March 12, 2012, two of the biggest online video companies in China, Youku and Tudou, announced plans to merge.[22] At the time of the announcement, Youku had 21.8 percent of market share and Tudou had 13.7 percent. The name of the new company would be named Youku Tudou Inc.[23]

See also


  1. ^ "Contact Us." Youku. Retrieved on December 27, 2010. "Beijing 5th Floor, Sinosteel Plaza, 8 Haidian Dajie, Haidian District, Beijing, 100080, China."
  2. ^ a b "版权声明." Youku. Retrieved on December 27, 2010. "北京市海淀区海淀大街8号中钢国际大厦5层" and "合一信息技术(北京)有限公司"
  3. ^ "Financial statement FY2014." Youku. Retrieved on April 22, 2015
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Company Overview." Youku. Retrieved December 27, 2010.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "版权声明." Youku. Retrieved on 27 December 2010. "北京市海淀区海淀大街8号中钢国际大厦5层"
  9. ^ "Contact Us." Youku. Retrieved 27 December 2010. "Beijing 5th Floor, Sinosteel Plaza, 8 Haidian Dajie, Haidian District, Beijing, 100080, China."
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "The next generation of entrepreneurs." The Economist. November 21, 2012. Retrieved on July 28, 2013. "Victor Koo (Gu Yongqiang) is worth watching,[...]Mr Koo’s firm, Youku Tudou,[...]"
  13. ^ "09中国互联网大会嘉宾:優酷CEO古永锵." (Archive) Sina. August 20, 2009. Retrieved on July 28, 2013. "古永锵 (Victor Koo)[...]"
  14. ^
  15. ^ a b
  16. ^ 華瑞網標(CR-Nielsen)公司_创建科学测评体系,挖掘中国网络价值
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ Global Times - Video sites cooperate on copyrighted films
  20. ^ INTERVIEW - Youku eyes overseas listing, partnerships
  21. ^ Youku Investor Relations
  22. ^ China’s Top 2 Video Portals YouKu and Tudou to Combine China Internet Watch, March 12, 2013
  23. ^

Further reading

External links

  • Official website (Mobile) (Chinese)
    • Corporate information (English)
  • Epstein, Gady. "China Groupon Clones’ Strategy: Burn Money Like". Forbes. May 3, 2011.
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