Youku still needs two more years to compete with Tencent Video and iQiyi, says company president

The firm has undergone a string of executive changes since Alibaba first invested in 2014

Image credit to 123rf.com.cn.

The president of Alibaba’s video streaming unit, Youku, acknowledged that Tencent Video and Baidu’s iQiyi lead China’s video streaming space and that Youku needs at least two more years of content development to compete more evenly with these leaders, he said in an interview with Chinese media outlet San Sheng.

Fan Luyuan became president of Youku in December after former president Yang Weidong stepped down following a corruption investigation. Since taking over, Fan has implemented a stricter attendance policy—requiring employees to clock in at 9:30 AM in the morning—and promised a closer integration of Youku with Alibaba’s broader ecosystem.

On top of his role at Youku, Fan is the chairman and CEO of Alibaba Pictures and had a leading role in developing both Alipay’s quick pay feature and its Yuebao money market fund. He first joined Alibaba in 2007.

Youku could use steadier management moving forward. The company was considered the leader in the Chinese video streaming market when Alibaba first invested in 2014 but has since undergone a string of executive changes—rotating through three presidents and 10 core executives in the past five years.

Editor: Nadine Freischlad