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Domestic companies expand platforms overseas

Ouyang Shijia
Updated: May 29,2018 9:14 AM     China Daily

China’s short video platforms are gaining momentum globally as leading domestic firms expand their apps overseas, with a particular focus on emerging markets.

Dai Bin, mobile analytics company App Annie’s country director for China, said Chinese short video apps have been spurred in recent months by their strong performance in overseas markets.

“Currently, most of their revenues are from the domestic market,” Dai said. “Douyin and Kuaishou have gained popularity in Japan and Southeast Asia, respectively. We expect those Chinese short video apps will see more downloads and revenues generated from overseas markets.”

Tik Tok, an overseas iteration of Chinese short video app Douyin, ranked No 8 in terms of downloads on Apple Inc’s App Store and the Google Play Store in April, two spots ahead of lip-syncing app, according to statistics from App Annie. Vigo Video, the overseas version of China’s Huoshan Video, ranked No 5 for downloads on Apple’s and Google LLC’s Indian stores in April.

Beijing Bytedance Technology Co Ltd, the parent company behind the apps, said it has more than 100 million monthly active users on its overseas platforms, including Tik Tok and

Kuaishou, which also hosts livestreaming, took fifth place by revenue in the first quarter this year, according to App Annie. The analytics company said more than half of Kuaishou’s new users in the first quarter were from overseas, compared with Douyin’s 40 percent.

A Cheetah Global Lab report said it is an opportune time for Chinese mobile internet firms to expand their presence overseas, thanks to the support they can gain from the Belt and Road Initiative, the rising popularity of smartphones globally, and the demographic dividends of emerging internet sectors in high-population regions such as Brazil, India and Southeast Asia.

According to Dai, among the Chinese apps expanding into overseas markets, social and entertainment apps are the fastest-growing in terms of downloads and revenues.

“For short video services, they meet people’s growing need for new forms of entertainment and they better transcend cultural barriers,” Dai said. “But, they still need to focus on facilitating localization in different markets, as it is really hard to apply their former operations experience to a new market.

“I suggest that short video service providers should have unique differentiation. Newcomers should avoid entering countries and regions that have already been taken by early arrivers,” he said.