In China, short video apps aren’t just for killing time without thinking. These services are becoming online bazaars where users can peruse products, see how they are grown and made, and ask sellers questions during live sessions.
Kuaishou, the main rival of the Chinese version of TikTok (Douyin), announced that it had accumulated 500 million e-commerce orders in August, a strong signal for the app̵
In the wake of the announcement, Reuters reported that Kuaishou, a Tencent-backed company behind TikTok’s Zynn clone, is looking to raise up to $ 5 billion from an initial public offering in Hong Kong as early as January. The company declined to comment, but a source familiar with the matter confirmed the details with TechCrunch.
There are complexities in claiming “500 million orders”. It doesn’t rule out canceled orders or refunds, and Kuaishou won’t reveal what its actual sales were. The company also said the number made it the fourth largest e-commerce operator in China after Alibaba, JD.com and Pinduoduo.
It is difficult to verify the claim as there is no comparable data from these companies during the period, but we work with what is available. Pinduoduo had previously claimed to have recorded over 7 billion orders in the first six months of 2019. This means that it has recorded an average of 1.16 billion orders per month, more than doubling the volume of Kuaishou.
Kuaishou’s figure, however, indicates that many users have purchased or at least considered buying through his video platform.
The app, known for celebrating vernacular and even mundane user content, boasts at the latest 300 million daily active users, suggesting that on average its users placed at least one order during the month. Many of the products sold were products grown by its large rural user base. The app has gained ground in small towns and remote regions since its inception precisely because its content algorithms were not intended to favor “glamor.”
Over time, it has caught on among Chinese citizens who have found themselves enjoying the candid footage of others’ country life and happily ordering their farm produce. The focus on bringing rural products to urban areas is also in line with China’s drive to reinvigorate its rural economy, and it’s not uncommon to see Kuaishou use terms like “poverty alleviation” in his social media campaign.
Douyin, which leans on refined “influencer” videos, also allows its content creators to monetize, both by sharing ad revenue and by wholesaling products. With a SAD twice the size of Kuaishou’s at 600 million, the app promises to bring 80 billion yuan ($ 11.8 billion) in revenue to creators in the next year, ByteDance China CEO recently said. , Kelly Zhang, at the Douyin Creators Conference.