China's <a src="http://www.baidu.com">Baidu</a> is investing US$15 million in <a src="http://www.uitv.com/">UiTV</a>, which will then manage the search leader's video channel, the companies said Sunday.
Baidu is taking an 8.3 percent stake in the video streaming company. The search company will continue to host its movie.baidu.com channel, which offers free video content viewing on an ad-revenue sharing basis, although UiTV will assume management of it. The deal does not include video.baidu.com, Baidu's video search engine.
Baidu is China's top search engine, with just over 60 percent market share, a survey by Analysys International found earlier this year.
About 71 percent of China's Internet users watch video content online, making it the fourth most-popular online <a src="http://www.cnnic.net/uploadfiles/pdf/2008/8/15/145744.pdf">activity</a> (PDF) among that group. However, online video remains closely monitored by Chinese authorities.