Tudou: China's YouTube

YouTube is home to millions of homemade videos and commercials for products that haven't been on store shelves for decades. But China's answer to YouTube isn't just a place to show off or reminisce -- it's big business.

The word "Tudou " means "potato"... as in "couch potato." It features the same kinds of videos you'll find on YouTube, like those featuring pop singers and pets. Not suprisingly, there's also a lot of anime, and (maybe more surprisingly) numerous clips of WWE wrestling.

From the business perspective, Tudou is winning the numbers game against the American giant. In October, Tudou's founders reported their site is streaming about 15 billion minutes of content each month. That's about five times the amount streaming from YouTube. But there's a drawback to the Chinese company.

Chinese Internet company Sohu.com reports the Shanghai branch of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television was directed to shut down Tudou earlier this month. Chinese legislation on Internet content include restrictions on "yellow" material (a.k.a. porn). They took effect in January.

Allegedly, though, somebody responsible for keeping the site clean of restricted material didn't get everything. A telecommunications consulting firm says it confirmed reports there was an injunction against Tudou, but couldn't get any other details. Tudou is still operating as of now.

There's an English version of the site, though it will only take you to the "About Us" page. Look all you want, but you'll only get gibberish text without setting your computer up for the right language first. And you have to know Chinese too.