Just last week Tudou received its SARFT license, and this week the company made its next big announcement: Tudou officially launched the beta version of “Hei Dou” (black bean), the name for the new high definition area within Tudou: hd.tudou.com. This is a major breakthrough for the online video industry in China. In foreign media Tudou is often referred to as the YouTube of China, but with the addition of Hei Dou it is now more a combination of Hulu and YouTube. Hulu is quite similar, but Hei Dou offers programs from a lot more TV stations (mainly Asian content) and all Hei Dou’s programs are in high def quality.
Hei Dou provides high definition version of popular shows, for which Tudou has the full copyright. Currently Hei Dou has 3 different channels: TV shows, movies and variety shows. Upon launch Hei Dou already has over 10,000 shows, all fully legally licensed on an exclusive or semi-exclusive basis.
The name Hei Dou was chosen because of the black background (hei = black, dou = bean, the same character as the ‘dou’ in Tudou) of the site, and of course because of the abbrevation hd (=high definition). The working name of the project used to be Kili, guess where that name came from 🙂
All Hei Dou’s programs are broadcast using H264/MP4 encoding, which allows for the lowest bandwidth consumption while keeping the highest broadcast clarity. No additional software or plug-in needs to be installed in order to watch the shows (unlike what some media report).
Once again Tudou shows its strength as the market leader by being the most innovative online video site, bringing higher quality video programming to Chinese netizens.Enjoy the show(s)!