Gang Lu reports rather specific rumors that Joost is going to enter the China market on or around the Chinese New Year (Feb 7th) by partnering with the Chinese portal Tom.com. That's not surprising as Skype partnered with Tom.com when they entered the Chinese market. What's different is Skype was innovative everywhere in the world.
Joost will have to play catch up in China, as the Chinese are the world leaders in P2P TV and P2P streaming media. Well established Chinese firms like PPLive and PPStream pre-date Joost by nearly two years (see my earlier comments). And today, in China, the P2P market is clogged with many more players like UUSee, Vakaka and Vatata.
Early entrants like PPLive focused on live TV in 4:3 ratio with simple user controls, perhaps for those familiar with TV but not with TIVO, however this is changing rapidly. What's more, friends report performance has been excellent, even in early 2005.
Joost has not worked so well within China. From one friend and from Google translations of Chinese reviews, it appears there are many places in China where the bandwidth requirements of Joost cause performance problems, even while PPLive works well. Presumably this will be cured by local Joost support within China. In other words, I suspect a lack of local peers within China means, for now, too much Joost content must flow over clogged international links. A local presence should cure that.
"... supports most of the video formats, including Microsoft, Real, Flash, Apple, MPEG1/2/4, OGG/MKV etc and H.264. Vatata system consists of two sub-system: Vata, the back-end streaming platform and Tata the front-end player. Tata is absolutely fascinating. It supports On Screen Display (OSD) and allows plugins, which means you can run multiple modules (e.g. instant-messenger, channel list, etc) on top of the video screen, which just sounds like what Joost does."
So it's clear Joost is moving into a very advanced market. It will be interesting to see the resulting cross fertilization.