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Chinese video streaming companies play the long game

May 16, 2016

A recent panel appearance by the general manager of Chinese TV manufacturer Hisense has confirmed the booming popularity of video streaming services in the country. The comments by Zhitao Yu underline the massive shift towards streaming by connected consumers worldwide.

Zhitao Yu said that at the end of 2015, six million users a day were streaming videos using the company's smart TVs. Each user streamed an average of 200 minutes of video content, according to The Star.

At the end of last year Hisense had activated 18 million smart TV users, but its ambitions do not stop there. The company aims for 22 million Chinese smart TV users and 5 million smart TV users based in international markets by the end of this year.

Hisense is the market leader in TV sales within China, a position it has held for many years. It is now turning its sights to international markets, promoting Roku TVs within the United States.

Yu was speaking at a panel discussion on the future of television, which also included representatives of LeTV and PPTV, two recent entrants to the Chinese TV market. LeTV began to sell TV sets in 2014, while PPTV launched a limited range of sets in 2015.

Both LeTV and PPTV started out by offering video streaming services in China, but now want to expand their content services by marketing their own-brand TV sets.

Tao Huang of LeTV admitted that the video subscription service is the source of revenue, rather TV sales themselves; the company even sells TV sets at cost to attract new customers. Hisense's representative Yu warned that revenue from video streaming would take time to develop, as Chinese consumers are reluctant to pay: Yu said "it's not very realistic to make money with content."


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