Xiaomi, China’s largest smartphone vendor, is set to acquire Youku Tudou shares on the open market and also license content from China’s most popular video-streaming site. Joy Han, a spokeswoman for Xiaomi, and Jay Chen, a Youku Tudou spokesman, both declined to comment on the amount of the investment.
Lei Jun, Xiaomi’s chief executive officer, has pledged to initially invest $1 billion in content to help sales of its Mi Box, a set-top box to receive videos, and its Mi TV Internet-ready television set. Chen Tong, a former editor-in-chief of Sina’s website who was hired last week, will spearhead the thrust into TV and video content with Xiaomi co-founder Wang Chuan, according to a statement from the two companies.
Youku Tudou and Beijing-based company Xiaomi will jointly develop content and technology. The cooperation will include investing in online video and movie production.