Chinese search engine Baidu.com (BIDU) is gaining more footholds into the online video sector with a new investment in Internet television platform provider UiTV.

As part of the deal, Baidu will contribute assets related to the operation of Baidu Internet TV Channel to UiTV in exchange for an 8.3% stake in UiTV and USD15 million. The Baidu Internet TV Channel will continue to be hosted on movie.baidu.com and it will be operated by UiTV. The company issued a statement saying this new channel is not related to video.baidu.com, Baidu's video search business.

Baidu Internet TV Channel is a website where Internet users can download movies and TV programs. Through cooperation with the majority of China's online movie and TV service and content providers, including TVB, Enlight Media and many others, Baidu Internet TV Channel has one of China's largest database for authorized copyrighted movie and TV program downloads. Baidu Internet TV Channel operates an advertising-based revenue sharing model that allows users to download copyrighted video content for free. Baidu's independent director, James Ding, is the chairman of UiTV and owns a minority interest in that company.

Founded in 2003, UiTV is a premium content Internet video platform in China. UiTV allows content owners to safely distribute their content through its syndication network, enables top tier Chinese Internet media portals and search engines to provide quality online video services to their users at very low cost and helps UiTV's advertising customers to effectively and intelligently place online video ads.

Xuyang Ren, Baidu's vice president of marketing and business development said, "This transaction will help UiTV become even more competitive in the Internet television market thanks to the expanded exposure and influence of this collaborative platform. It also offers Baidu the opportunity to benefit from UiTV's vast future growth potential."

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