"There are things you cannot do in China because of certain regulations," says Wang. "TV is simply off limits. If you take away TV you didn't have a large market, so I began thinking how to bring entertainment to China, where there were already 10 to 20 million broadband users and I knew it would build up."Of course, the 10 to 20 million figure is from 2004. Now, China boasts almost the same amount of internet users as the population of the United States. Tudou, which as grown threefold since just last year, now serves 100 million videos a day and garners about 75 million unique users a month. Though only about 5 percent of the videos on the site generate advertising revenue, that's already better than Youtube's 3 percent figure. The biggest problems Tudou faces is, not surprisingly, the Chinese government. Wang employs about 100 people that focus just on vetting videos that are uploaded to the site – lest they be copyrighted... or, more importantly, contain banned political content. After all, since his servers and staff are all in China, a company shut down notice is literally always one uncensored clip away. [Guardian UK]
The Guardian has a great interview with the head of Tudou.com, China's answer to Youtube. Tudou means potato in Chinese, meant to denote “couch potato.” CEO Gary Wang started the video-sharing site up four years ago after discovering the immense amount of government regulation involved if he wanted to go into television entertainment.