• An employee walks past the logo of Youku Tudou at the company's headquarters in Beijing, China.

An employee walks past the logo of Youku Tudou at the company's headquarters in Beijing, China. (Photo : Reuters)

While Western operators were frustrated by the continuation of Beijing's crackdown on foreign-produced media at the start of this year, the major players in the sector have not been deterred by an environment that analysts expect to become even more hostile to media made outside of China.

In the same week that Netflix held a press conference in Shanghai to broadcast its bold plan for the eastern Asian market, Chinese online video brand Youku Tudou Inc. announced the formation of a television drama production studio as part of a major restructure.

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Central to the restructuring process is the appointment of Edward Su--previously with Havas Worldwide, a subsidiary of French advertising holding company, Havas SA--into the role of Chief Operating Officer (COO). According to the company statement, Su's main area of responsibility will be the Youku Tudou sales team.

In terms of its new production arms, the Chinese media company has added Heyi Pictures and Innovative Marketing to its stable of business units.

Heyi was first launched in August of last year as a herald of Youku Tudou's entrance into the movie market, and has resulted in three box-office successes so far: "The Continent," "Fleet of Time," and "The Taking of Tiger Mountain."

Innovative Marketing will be tasked with developing programmatic advertising and video e-commerce, among a series of other new marketing models.

Youku Tudou's Chief Content Officer, Sunny Xiangyang Zhu, is the CEO of Heyi Pictures, and Chief Marketing Officer Yawei Dong will be the director of Innovative Marketing.

The company believes that the production of unique content will attract larger audiences, while providing access to more Chinese entertainment at lower prices.

Ultimately, names like Youku Tudou will be able to circumvent the Chinese government's restrictions on the ratio of foreign to domestic content that can be streamed over the Internet.

Youku Tudou is backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and rapidly expanding smartphone brand, Xiaomi Inc.