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5 Best Alternatives to YouTube for embedding Videos in China

As we all know, YouTube and Vimeo are two of the most popular video-sharing platforms in the world today. However, these platforms are simply not available in China. This is a major problem if your business operates in China, especially when you need to localise an existing English website for use in China.

Although YouTube and Vimeo are blocked, video-sharing is still a popular activity in China. In fact, according to data compiled by the China Netcasting Services Association, short films have now surpassed instant messaging with an average daily usage time of 110 minutes per person as of June 2020. This is a huge increase from 2018 when the typical day’s usage time was only 30 minutes per person. Platforms like Douyin (Chinese TikTok), Kuaishou, and Bilibili have seriously grown in popularity due to the increasing demand for short videos.

So now, let’s deep dive into five different Chinese video-sharing platforms that you can use to embed videos on your website.

YouKu is great if you don’t mind advertisements

YouKu is one of the most popular video-sharing platforms in China. It is similar to YouTube in that it allows users to upload, view, and share videos. However, YouKu also has some unique features, such as the ability to live stream events.

One downside of YouKu is that it includes advertisements. These ads can be really annoying for visitors to your site and may deter some people from watching. Unlike YouTube, the ads will even appear for embedded videos. This can be a problem as the ads will often run for 30 seconds and are usually not skippable – not ideal for your user experience.

However, most Chinese video platforms show ads, so YouKu is not unique in this regard. In order to avoid ads complicating matters further, YouKu has a paid subscription option that gives users an ad-free experience.

PolyV is a Chinese video platform with no ads… but it’s not free

PolyV is another popular Chinese video-sharing platform. It is similar to YouKu in that it allows users to upload, view, and share videos. However, PolyV does not have any advertisements, instead, their payment model is based on a monthly subscription.

This can be a great option if you don’t want your viewers to be bombarded with ads. However, it is important to note that PolyV’s monthly subscription fee can be quite expensive. One of the main use cases for PolyV is for websites with paid or gated content, as the no-ads policy ensures a better user experience for viewers who are paying for access to your content.

PolyV also has some great features, such as the ability to live stream events and the option to password-protect videos. This can be useful if you want to keep your videos private or only accessible to certain people.

If you need to upload, publish, or embed videos onto your website for documentation, instructional, or training purposes, then a paid subscription to PolyV is likely a good option for you.

Ixigua has both longer and short-form videos

Ixigua is a Chinese video-sharing platform that contains a mix of longer videos, like movies and TV episodes, as well as shorter clips and live streams. It is similar to YouTube and other video-sharing platforms in that it allows users to upload, view, and share videos.

Ixigua does have advertisements, but they are not as intrusive as the ads on YouKu. Ixigua also has a premium subscription option that removes ads and gives your users access to exclusive content.

It’s not a secret that ByteDance, the same company behind Douyin, TikTok and Toutiao owns this Chinese video-sharing platform. However, it is not well known outside of China. Even so, we think it has a bright future!

QQ video is a Chinese video platform owned by Tencent

QQ video is a Chinese video-sharing platform that is owned by Tencent, one of the largest internet companies in China. QQ video is similar to other Chinese video-sharing platforms in that it allows users to upload, view, and share videos.

However, QQ video has a few unique features, such as the ability to download videos for offline viewing and the option to share videos with people who are not registered QQ users.

QQ video also has a premium subscription option that removes ads and gives users access to exclusive content. In addition, Tencent offers enterprise-level solutions for businesses that want to use QQ video for marketing or internal communications purposes.

Overall, QQ video is a great option for Chinese video sharing, especially if you are already using other Tencent products, such as WeChat or QQ.

Embed videos directly on your website

If you don’t want to use any of the Chinese video-sharing platforms, then another option is to embed videos directly on your website. This should also be done alongside a CDN, which will help to ensure the fast delivery of your videos.

One downside of this approach is that you need to organise the hosting yourself. This can become expensive if you have a lot of videos. Also, if you expect to have a large volume of traffic, then you need to ensure that your hosting solution can handle a large number of visits. The costs could potentially outweigh the benefits, but it depends on your specific situation.

Technically it is not so simple, as you need to ensure the right video codecs are used, embed using a customised video player and set up the CDN infrastructure. This is something we have done for many of our clients, so feel free to get in touch if you have questions on this.

Overall, embedding videos directly on your website can be a good option, but really, you should consider the costs and complexity before deciding if this is the right approach for you.

Getting videos embedded on your website in China doesn’t have to be difficult

As you can see, there are a number of different options for embedding videos into your Chinese website. YouKu, PolyV, ixigua, Tencent video, as well as embedding videos directly on your website are all viable options. The best approach depends on your specific needs and requirements. However, with a little bit of research, you should be able to find the best solution for your needs.

Chinese internet users are used to seeing advertisements on video platforms, but if you don’t want to show ads, then you will need to pay for a premium subscription. If you simply want to share videos with friends and family, then you can use one of the Chinese social media platforms, such as WeChat or QQ. And finally, if you want more control over your videos and don’t mind the cost of hosting, then just embed videos directly on your website.

Whichever approach you decide to take, you can definitely find a video solution for your China-facing website that solves your problem.

Do you have any experience with Chinese video sharing and embedding? Do you want to get some videos hosted for your Chinese website, but need a few questions answered? If you’ve got either, then drop us a comment below, or even better, send us an email, and we’ll be happy to share our experience and point you in the right direction.

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