500px sold to Visual China Group, the “Getty of China”

Feb 26, 2018

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

500px sold to Visual China Group, the “Getty of China”

Feb 26, 2018

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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Today, 500px has announced that they got fully acquired by Visual China Group (VCG), also known as the “Getty Images of China.” VCG was 500px’s lead investor in 2015, but as of today, they own 100% of the company’s shares.

Back in October 2015, the collaboration with VCG got 500px under fire. The company launched a Chinese counterpart of the website, 500px.me. The content they posted on 500px would automatically appear on the Chinese counterpart with no opt out. The users protested so hard, that it took only two days for 500px to remove the Chinese sister website entirely. The company admitted that it was a mistake not to be open to the users, and their Community Engagement Manager issued an apology. Later on, they relaunched 500px.me as a beta, and it required the users’ consent for publishing their work.

Ever since it was created in 2009, 500px has grown to the number of 13 million members. In the official announcement of the acquisition, the company explains their goals of selling the website to VCG. There’s a plan to roll out some new features this year, such as improved statistics, private messaging and sub-communities for photographers. 500px also points out that this acquisition will help users have a greater reach.  According to TechCrunch, both companies will also offer AI and blockchain technologies to their members.

As TechCrunch writes, VCG is currently the world’s third-largest visual content provider. Back in 2016, they also acquired Corbis. There is no word on the sale price of 500px, at least not officially. Off the record, a report claims that 500px was sold for $17 million.

Judging from the comments, many users are unhappy with the acquisition. Just like in 2015, some of them have deleted their accounts, and some claim they plan to do it. As it seems, these 500px members are worried because China is not really famous for protecting copyright.

As far as I’m concerned, I’ve never quite liked 500px anyway (I wrote about it here).  I think I should delete my account regardless of VCG’s acquisition, as I almost never use it. But I’m interested in hearing your thoughts. Will this make you delete your account? Or you believe it will open the door for a wider audience and more possibilities?

[via PetaPixel, TechCrunch]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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19 responses to “500px sold to Visual China Group, the “Getty of China””

  1. Tj Ó Seamállaigh Avatar
    Tj Ó Seamállaigh

    well, i’ve deleted mine long ago

  2. Alan Currie Avatar
    Alan Currie

    They used to have such a great app, then they tried to make it look like Facebook by adding too much text. Ruined their brand at that point.

  3. Antonio Bernardino Coelho Avatar
    Antonio Bernardino Coelho

    Yes

  4. Batman Avatar
    Batman

    Well… they’ve been fucked for quite some time now, so I couldn’t care less .. they will still be fucked up no matter who owns them! And with those low life Chinese … does the Communist party approved that ? Will they be stealing images just like they steal everything else ? Cuz you know in China the court always makes fun of the foreign companies who’ve been robbed by China!!!

  5. Taylor Maduro Port Avatar
    Taylor Maduro Port

    I forgot 500px existed… I’ll probably delete my account just to consolidate. It hasn’t brought me a single piece of business so why waste time on it.

  6. DPJ Avatar
    DPJ

    I’ve only just started using 500PX after getting fed up to back teeth of Flickr. I only use it to host photo’s so the business side doesn’t effect me at all.

  7. Linda Harper-Hocknull Avatar
    Linda Harper-Hocknull

    I’ve been thinking about deleting my profile as no business and my shots tend to not get shown much.

  8. Alain Gaudreau Avatar
    Alain Gaudreau

    Most of the people who use 500px are photographers… Not like there is a huge audience for our work client wise on there… Not a big loss…

  9. Miroslav Vrzala Avatar
    Miroslav Vrzala

    Cancelled mine

  10. Tom Herriman Avatar
    Tom Herriman

    Copywrite protection is a problem. :(

  11. Joshua Prieto Avatar
    Joshua Prieto

    I made an account only four days ago
    Urgh

  12. Reşat Kuleli Çapulcu Avatar
    Reşat Kuleli Çapulcu

    Why do you think you need to cancel your account in 500px? Because the new owners are Chinese? Because it has become a part of capitalistic game? Because 500px has changed? What is your main reason to make a decision to cancel account?

    1. Tadek Lokcinski Avatar
      Tadek Lokcinski

      Because the new owners are Chinese

  13. Hugh Mobley Avatar
    Hugh Mobley

    As soon as I heard this I immediately removed every photo, deleted all my personal info and cancelled account, China steals everything! even our fighter planes, What about all of the Meta Data info in each photo, Getty sells images! now they might just steal them and sell them! Forget it!

  14. W Douglas LeBlanc Avatar
    W Douglas LeBlanc

    Dodged a bullet there did I, *whew*

  15. Youri J. Soloviov Avatar
    Youri J. Soloviov

    Now China can make cheap of your stuff. (Sometimes ever better.)

  16. P K Avatar
    P K

    I also deleted my account! Personally moved to Excio – NZ platform similar to Windows 10 screen savers but displays your photos on mobile phones instead and you can link your website etc, one of my images is doing better than other in particular and I got 79 links this month to my website (I track it with Google, always good to cross-check). All copyrights protected there, the right audience and costs much cheaper than 500px.