10 Things You Should Know About Kuaishou — TikTok Rival Zynn’s Parent Company

As the major rival of TikTok’s parent company ByteDance, Kuaishou, known for Kwai and Zynn in overseas markets, is one of China’s largest short video-sharing and livestreaming apps.

Livestreaming revenue accounts for the largest share of Kuaishou’s annual revenue

Kuaishou generated 50 billion yuan ($7.2 billion) in revenue in 2019, where livestreaming contributed 30 billion yuan.

Half of the content in Kuaishou’s local section is livestreaming, which means Kuaishou users are more likely to start or watch a livestreaming.

Many top Kuaishou sales stars are owners of small businesses or factories, whose content is mainly related to their products and daily operations. Therefore, this type of content is more likely to earn trust from audiences and convert into sales.

Kuaishou’s overseas versions top global app charts

Kwai, a global version of Kuaishou, is popular in Brazil, India, Turkey, South Korea, Russia and Vietnam.

According to data released in 2019, Kwai repeatedly topped Brazil’s app downloads lists.

In early May, Kuaishou launched a short-video app called Zynn, specifically targeting the North American market. It paid users to sign up, watch videos, and refer other people. Within a month, Zynn became the most downloaded iOS app in the U.S.

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Kuaishou has the largest short-video library in the world

As of early 2020, Kuaishou has over 20 billion videos, according to the 2019 Kuaishou Content Report. In 2019 alone, 250 million people shared content on the app. Now the app has over 300 million daily active users, Kuaishou said.

Kuaishou’s co-founders Su Hua (left) and Cheng Yixiao (right). (Source: Kuaishou)

Kuaishou star Xinba is Chinese e-commerce sales king

With more than 37 million fans, Kuaishou sales king Xinba reported record sales of 1.25 billion yuan ($176 million) in a 10-hour livestream session on June 14 where more than 2 million people watched him at the same time.

The sales campaign was part of Kuaishou’s own shopping holiday called “616 Shopping Festival,” similar to Single’s Day (11.11)

Kuaishou completed about 35 billion yuan worth of transactions last year. It set its 2020 e-commerce business goal at 250 billion yuan.

Kuaishou collaborates with Chinese tech giants like Tencent and NetEase

Tencent Holdings, China’s biggest gaming and social media company and a long time backer of Kuaishou, reportedly invested $2 billion in Kuaishou, part of a new $3 billion round of funding closed at the end of last year.

In collaboration with another giant NetEase, founder and CEO of NetEase William Ding made his livestreaming debut on Kuaishou on June 11, helping sell over 72 million yuan worth of goods.

Kuaishou is headquartered in Beijing. (Source: Kuaishou)

Kuaishou partners with e-commerce platforms like JD.com

Kuaishou also connects itself with e-commerce platforms like Taobao, Pinduoduo, and JD.com. Kuaishou signed a partnership agreement with JD.com on May 27, which allows users to buy products from JD.com within the app.

Kuaishou was born as a GIF maker

Known as a short video sharing app, Kuaishou started as a GIF maker in 2011. Founded in Beijing, mobile app GIF Kuaishou was created to make and share GIFs. Two years later, the app transformed into a short video community platform and renamed itself to Kuaishou.

Kuaishou CEO Su Hua (Source: Kuaishou)

Kuaishou is its founder’s 34th startup

The founder and CEO of Kuaishou, Su Hua, is a big fan and expert in AI algorithms and machine learning. After working as an engineer at Google and then Baidu for years, Su had established 33 entrepreneurial startups before he launched Kuaishou.

Growing up in a rural village, Su is deeply concerned about the fair distribution of social resources. The mission of Kuaishou is thus to give people equal opportunities to express themselves, especially those who are often ignored by the mainstream, and enhance the public’s happiness.

Kuaishou’s AI technology enables content to be more interesting and equally accessible

The central idea of Kuaishou is to use AI technology to equally allocate resources, which means even content posted by users with zero fans can be seen by a certain number of people.

Using data analytics and AI technology, all uploaded content is parsed. The embedded recognition system automatically analyzes the gender and age of those featured, the facial expressions and emotions expressed in the content, and objects included or action taking place, to name a few. The system also transcribes any words uttered and matches with keyword tags accordingly.

While most social media is dominated by a small circle of celebrities and influencers, Kuaishou amplifies the voice of ordinary people and their lives. It also helps rural people with cheap smartphones produce professional-style videos, including Hollywood-style special effects.

Its visual effects can be processed on low-end smartphones that cost only $150–200, which significantly lowers the threshold of use. Also, the video quality does not need to be very high, and there is no need to pay attention to the angle and light like Instagram influencers.

Kuaishou’s users are mainly young people from villages and rural areas in China

Over half of Kuaishou’s users are from second and third-tier cities. 80% of Kuaishou’s users are born after 1990.

Kuaishou is filled with surprise stars, ranging from mushroom foragers in the villages, amateur inventors who make “useless” inventions, to artists who perform and teach intangible cultural heritage on the app.