Sina, a Chinese company which has developed what is often dubbed ‘the Twitter of China’, is planning to launch a new over-the-top (OTT) video service in cooperation with Shanghai-based TV operator BesTV New Media.
Bloomberg reports that the new service is envisaged as a Social TV service which taps the huge popularity of Sina’s microblogging website Weibo, which currently has over 300mn accounts.
The new TV service is expected to help Sina attract other partners in the television industry and developers to offer content on Weibo, according to the reports. Sina recently reached an agreement with San Francisco-based developer Zynga to offer the hugely popular ‘Draw Something’ game in China.
China’s online video sites and IPTV services are currently undergoing a period of intense consolidation and growth: notable recent developments include the news that major online video sites Youku and Tudou have signed a definitive agreement to merge their operations (more details here).
However, China’s insatiable demand for online video has led the country’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) to order online video service providers to prescreen all programmes before making them available on the Internet, as it scrambles to limit the dissemination of what it deems vulgar content, excessive violence and pornography (details here).