There is no doubt that the Asian giant plays a dominant role as far as entertainment is concerned. Historically, the region has produced important formats that have spread across the globe, and all despite the obvious cultural differences between China and the West. When it comes to streaming, again the differences are more than striking. In a country where Netflix and Amazon are not available, China has developed its own platforms, and they have no reason to envy the more well-known platforms.
According to a report released by China Netcasting Services Association (CNSA), the number of streaming service users in China — just like other parts of the world — continues to grow. In fact, this summer the figure surpassed 609 million, with a more than 40% revenue increase (equivalent to more the $29 billion). These platforms, with their affordable prices and huge catalogs of entertainment content, have won over this huge market of users who, for the most part, are no older than 45 years old.
Beijing Bytedance Technology owns this video streaming platform. It is based on shared creation and use of mobile device videos and has 500 million monthly active users around the world, of which 300 million are in China. This means that one out of 10 Chinese people are watching Douying content every day. Their total data volume exceeds that of industry giants like Facebook and YouTube, and they have reached a leading position among the short video streaming platforms.
It is no easy feat to create an application that becomes one of the most downloaded on the Internet, and Tencent Video has done just that. In fact, it is the largest video streaming platform in China with something more than 62 million paying subscribers. Tencent video, the exclusive HBO partner in China, owes a large part of its success to its ties with WeChat, the largest messaging and social media application in the world. As a matter of fact, users with an official WeChat account have to have the platform to include videos in their posts.
Popularly known as the Netflix of China, iQIYI leads the online video market thanks to its original and wide range of content on offer, especially live sports and entertainment content. At present, it is in the clear lead of its competitors thanks to its 500 million monthly active users. An indisputable achievement!
This video streaming platform had a leg up from the very beginning, given the fact that it is owned by the global giant Alibaba. If iQIYI is called the Netflix of China, YouKu would be its YouTube. Its user numbers haven’t stopped growing, and in fact it can already boast more than 500 million viewers who watch 800 million videos — of all kinds — every day. Once again, content is king in the world of entertainment.
Kuaishou is a unique case in China because its target market is radically different to other areas of the country. This is the platform of choice for consumers in less developed regions of the country. Despite being relatively new on the scene — it was launched in 2011 — it boasts an impressive daily unique user statistic of 130 million.
Launched in June 2015, Huajiao quickly claimed a prominent spot in China’s streaming platform competitive landscape. This was partially due to its enormous advertising campaign featuring one of the biggest stars in China, Fan Bingbing. It offers a wide range of content, although it is most known for its live broadcast contests and innovative programming.
Although it began its launch in 2013, Weishi didn’t manage to take off or snag a spot among the streaming platforms. Unexpectedly, it has awoken from its stupor with some encouraging figures: some weeks it has managed to grab the top spot of free applications downloaded from the Apple App store. Why?
It is all due to Tencent, which allowed WeChat users to share and publish the application’s videos over the messaging platform. WeChat had prohibited the sharing of short videos from any platform, including Kuaishou Douyin, after a controversy erupted about inappropriate content being shared on these platforms.
Lu Ke is also owned by Alibaba, but it has a different end game. This platform offers short videos that feature images and videos of products that users can ask questions about, learn more about, discuss, and buy. Everything from fashion and cosmetics to food and travel is covered. Lu Ke has an audience of 400 million users per month.