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To pay or not to pay?

By Li Qiaoyi (Global Times)

10:45, December 18, 2012

Watching videos online is becoming ever more popular in China, even if people feel frustrated with the preloaded adverts that they have to sit through before their video begins.

A number of online video firms offer a solution to this - charging viewers 10-20 yuan ($1.6-$3.2) per month for various packages, which allow them to avoid all the ads as well as getting access to the latest movies, TV dramas and other popular video content.

But so far, these packages have not proved that popular. "Most Chinese netizens remain reluctant to pay for online videos," Shi Yu, CEO of, a major online video company, said in an exclusive interview with the Global Times on December 7.

"Users basically are interested in content, and don't care about which platform they use to get it," Shi said, pointing to a lack of loyalty among users toward any particular video websites. This is one of the obstacles standing in the way of developing the market for paid video content, Shi noted, despite the increasing demand for online videos.

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