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China online streaming boom as users grow over 514 mln

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-12-08 16:22

CHENGDU - Video streaming is booming in China with a large user base and a growing number of paid users, creating unprecedented business opportunities, an industry report says.

As of June, the number of streaming service users reached 514 million, accounting for 72.4 percent of China's Internet population, according to the 2016 China Online Streaming Development Study Report, released by China Netcasting Services Association (CNSA).

The association was set up in 2011 and published its first report in 2015.

The 2016 report says watching video online has become the primary form of online entertainment in China, tailed by online gaming and reading literature.

It also shows 35.5 percent of streaming users paid for content this year, rising 18.5 percentage points year-on-year. It is the fastest annual growth in recent years. Most of the paid users are monthly subscribers.

Zhou Jie, deputy secretary of the CNSA, said the trend suggests good commercial potential of the sector.

China's online video market was valued at 24.3 billion yuan ($3.5 billion) in 2015, according to independent Chinese data company Analysys.

The three major market players are Youku, iQIYI, and Tencent, all offering video-sharing services, as well as self-made programs, user generated dramas, reality shows and live streaming.

Zhou said competition in content creation and video patents have intensified between the companies as China strengthened intellectual property protection in recent years.

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