I guess Baidu.com (NASDAQ:BIDU) wants to be a movie star, too.

China's top search engine is combining its fledgling online television operations with market leader UiTV. Baidu will have a minority stake in the company.

It's a good move for Baidu. The company's dedicated video site at movie.baidu.com offers downloads -- yes, legal downloads -- of Chinese television shows and movies. Baidu claims to have the country's largest database of authorized copyrighted movies and television programs.

However, like every portal, Baidu can't lose sight of its bread-and-butter search business. Handing the keys over to UiTV will give Baidu focus, as its movie site wins immediate street cred. The deal does not include Baidu's video search business.

What's that? No one wants to hear about Chinese media stocks in this free-falling market?

It's your loss. Yes, new and old media companies have been hammered in China. China Digital TV (NYSE:STV) went public last year at $16 a share, and more than doubled at the open. It trades in the single digits today.

Dot-com leaders like SINA (NASDAQ:SINA) and Sogou.com parent Sohu.com (NASDAQ:SOHU) have also been slammed, despite following Baidu's lead in posting excellent quarterly results. All three of the Internet heavies have shed nearly half of their value since hitting their 52-week highs.

Advertising media companies have taken even bigger hits in China. Marketing behemoth Focus Media (NASDAQ:FMCN) and airport ad specialist AirMedia (NASDAQ:AMCN) would love to be trading at half of their 52-week peaks.

This is yet another reason why I like Baidu's move. It's creating an opportunistic venture at a time when a shakeout is bound to eliminate some of the weakest players. No one knows when the market will warm to Chinese media stocks again, but Baidu is making sure that it will be stronger on the way up than it was on the way down.

During the market lull, read up to learn more about Baidu:

Focus Media Holding Ltd. is a Motley Fool Global Gains recommendation. Focus Media Holding Ltd. and Baidu.com are Motley Fool Rule Breakers picks. SINA is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has been to mainland China just once, but he's longing to brush up on Mandarin and return. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.