[Tutorial] Youku: making the most of video marketing in China

18 March 2018

Youku is one of the best options for hosting and utilizing videos in your marketing strategy in China.

With the number of internet users in China estimated to top 1.026 billion by the end of 2018, it is no surprise that the digital video market in China has a number of leading players competing for market share. It is also no surprise that each of the three major platforms are backed by one of China’s tech giants.

Baidu-backed Netflix equivalent iQiyi, which boasted 470 million monthly active users (MAUs) by the end of 2017, is the largest of the three. Following close behind is Tencent Video, owned by its namesake Tencent Holdings, which benefits from its relationship with WeChat to attract 397 million MAUs. Rounding out the top three is Youku Tudou, which was acquired by Alibaba in November 2015.

Youku Tudou, despite lagging behind its rivals in user numbers with 289 million MAUs, has a diverse list of features that make it an incredibly useful digital platform for companies doing marketing in China. The site in its current form was born in 2012 when Youku merged with Tudou.

Due to the wealth of user-generated content, it is usually more commonly described as China’s YouTube than the country’s other video platforms. In addition to user-generated content, it hosts Chinese and international TV shows and movies, and allows companies to launch their own official Youku brand channel. This enables companies to host content and ads, communicate their story, and even support online stores within the platform. As a result, the site enjoyed 25 billion unique connections in January 2018.

Because of Alibaba’s involvement, it is also well integrated with the company’s other services; most importantly Weibo from a digital marketing perspective. Videos promoting products and campaigns hosted on Youku are supported within the Weibo platform; increasing exposure and offering diverse and efficient avenues of integrated communication for companies and brands.

Step by step guide: how to open an official Youku account

What you need:

  • A Business Licence;
  • The Name and ID of an Account Operator (must be Chinese citizen);
  • A photo showing the Account Operator holding his/her ID card;
  • A Chinese phone number;
  • An Email address;
  • A letter of authorization (scanned copy).

Step 1: The registration

In order to create a business account, Youku require, since 2017, to register on Dayu platform (大鱼). Go to

1. Click(注册)’Sign Up’

2. Complete the required information:

  • Email(邮箱)
  • Password (6-20 characters using letters and numbers) (密码)
  • Confirm password(确认密码)
  • Slide to the right(验密码)
  • Click(注册)’Register’

3. Once you click ‘Register’, the service agreement will appear. Click (同意协议)’Agree’.


At this stage you must specify what kind of account you want to create: Individual, Media, Company, Government or Other Organizations. If you don’t have an invitation code, click(普通入驻)’Ordinary Entry’.


Basic Info:

  • Dayu account name(大鱼号名称)
  • Brief introduction of your Dayu account(大鱼号介绍)
  • Scope of Business(大鱼号领域)
  • Upload profile picture(大鱼号头像)
  • Company address(所在地)

Company Info:

  • Company name(企业名称)
  • Business license number(营业执照或社会信用代码)
  • Scan of your business license(营业执照扫描件)

Account Operator Info:

  • ID Name(运营者身份证名称)
  • ID Number(运营者身份证号码)
  • Picture of the operator holding his/her ID card(手特运营者身份证照片)
  • Email(联系邮箱)
  • Mobile number(联系手机)
  • SMS verification code(短信验证码)
  • A scan of the letter of authorization(企业授权书扫描件)
  • Any additional documents (辅助资料)

Letter of Authorization:

After uploading the letter of authorization, click(提交审核)’Submit Application’.

The process takes about 3 working days. Once complete, your account will activated be on a trial basis until you upload your first video.

Congratulation! You are the proud new owner of an official Youku business account.

Where to go from there

A Youku business account can open many doors for you and your customer base. It is one of the best options for hosting and utilizing videos in your marketing strategy in China.

To simplify the process and get the most out of the platform, don’t hesitate to contact Creative Union.